RAMALLAH, June 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to help finding three Israelis disappeared earlier in the West Bank, an official said on condition of anonymity.
Earlier on Friday, Israel announced that three Israelis disappeared near the Israeli settlement of Kfar Itzion near the city of Hebron in the southern West Bank.
Israeli Radio reported that security apparatuses have began a large searching campaign for the three disappeared.
Palestinian security sources said that the Israeli army has closed the entrances to the city of Hebron and erected roadblocks on main streets and started searching cars.
No one has officially claimed responsibility. But some initial reports said that an armed radical Salafi group which is affiliated to al-Qaida had claimed responsibility for kidnapping the three Israelis.
Khaled al-Batsh, a senior Gaza-based Islamic Jihadi leader, said shortly before three Israelis disappeared near Hebron that " kidnapping soldiers is the only mean for releasing the prisoners." The remarks were made during the Friday prayers in Gaza city in support for prisoners going on a hunger strike in Israeli prisons.
"We should seek steps and means to release the prisoners," al- Batsh said, adding that he does not "think we can get anything from the enemy, but only by swap deals."