On Thursday night (12 June), three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped in the West Bank. Israel is engaged in an intensive operation to return Gilad Sha'er (16), Naftali Frenkel (16), who has dual Israeli-American citizenship, and Eyal Yifrah (19) to their families.
Hamas terrorists abducted the three teens.
The Palestinian terrorist organizations, foremost among them the extreme Islamist group Hamas, are committed to the destruction of Israel and to carrying out terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. Hamas does not need any reason, excuse or incentive to murder and kidnap Israelis. Terrorist attacks are nothing less than Hamas' raison d'etre. Dozens of attempted kidnappings have been foiled in the last year alone.
Those in the international community who said that President Abbas' pact with Hamas would advance peace can now witness the true results of this union. Today it is clear that Hamas has exploited the pact to strengthen its presence in the West Bank, which has led to an increase in terrorist activity.
Recently, a suicide bomber was intercepted and another terrorist carried out a shooting attack that left an Israeli police officer wounded.
Hamas, like its Islamist terrorist counterparts across the Middle East, threatens the stability of the region, and its actions should be condemned in the strongest terms. The international community should unequivocally condemn the Hamas attack on innocent Israeli teenagers.
The kidnapping validates Israel's assessment that the pact between PA President Abbas and Hamas would strengthen Palestinian terrorist organizations, push peace further away and destabilize the area.
Israel holds the Palestinian Authority, headed by President Abbas, responsible for the fate of the kidnapped teens and for terrorist activity emanating from the areas under its control. The Palestinian Authority - from whose territory the kidnappers came - must do whatever is necessary to assist in bringing the teens home. The Fatah-Hamas pact has opened the door to wider Hamas activity in the West Bank and President Abbas cannot absolve himself of his responsibility.
The claim that the Palestinian Authority is not responsible because the attack occurred in an area under Israeli control is baseless. What is relevant is not where the attack took place, but where the attack originated. The Hamas perpetrators set out from territory controlled by the PA.
Instead of abiding by his international obligation to disarm Hamas, President Abbas has embraced Hamas, lending legitimacy to terrorism.
Furthermore, the PA - through its ceaseless incitement to violence and terrorism against Israel - encourages attacks like this one.
President Abbas must stop supporting terrorist prisoners and put an end to the terrorism that threatens peace and stability. It is no coincidence that the PA pays convicted terrorists in prison more ($386-$3500 a month) than it pays its policemen (approximately $270 a month).
After Hamas and the other terrorist organizations seized control of the Gaza Strip, a massive terrorist base was created there. Now Abbas' pact with Hamas has intensified the threat that Hamas will take control of the Palestinian Authority, just as it did in Gaza.