RAMALLAH, June 16 (Xinhua) -- A Palestinian armed group aligned with the Fatah movement claimed on Monday that they are holding the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers, and have delivered the hostages outside the city of Hebron, according to a statement it released.
In its statement, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the armed wing of Fatah party in the West Bank, said the three missing Israelis are in safe hands outside the area of Hebron.
"The Israeli government will never have the honor of finding them and they won't be handed over unless thousands of prisoners, mainly females, are released," it said.
Earlier, two smaller West Bank groups also claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, but neither claim was considered credible by Israel. And the latest claim by the group is also not confirmed.
So far, Israel still blamed Hamas, a more hard-line Palestinian party than Fatah, for the kidnapping, saying their involvement was a fact.
Since Saturday, some 150 Palestinian suspects, mainly Hamas leaders and activists in the West Bank, have been arrested as Israel conducted a massive manhunt for the kidnappers and the three teens.
JERUSALEM, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone on Monday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, asking him to assist finding the three allegedly kidnapped teens, according to a statement by the Prime Minister's Office.
"I expect you to assist in returning the abducted youths and in apprehending the kidnappers," Netanyahu told Abbas, according to the statement. Full story