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.
Netanyahu said the kidnappers came from territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority and have returned to lands controlled by them.
The Israeli Prime Minister added that this event "exposes the true face of the terrorism we are fighting against," and reiterated that partnership with Hamas is bad. "It's bad for Israel, bad for the Palestinians and bad for the region," Netanyahu said.
Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Tzachi Hanegbi told Israel Radio on Monday morning that there is an ongoing cooperation between the Israeli and the Palestinian Authority's security services to catch the perpetrators and find the missing teens.
Minister of Communications Gilad Erdan told the Channel 2 news that the Palestinian security forces have been "willingly" helping Israel in the search for the teenagers, claims acknowledged by Palestinian Authority officials.
Abbas issued a statement earlier on Monday in which he condemned the kidnapping of the Israeli teens for the first time. "Both sides should refrain from violence," the statement said.
Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Shaar (both aged 16) and Eyal Yifrach (19), who've been attending religious seminaries, were last seen on Thursday evening hitchhiking in Gush Etzion, a settlement bloc in the West Bank.
A massive manhunt for the kidnapped teens has been underway with Israeli security forces imposing closures and arresting more than 100 members of Hamas, among them top officials, in a wave of arrests.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused that Hamas is behind the kidnapping, a claim rejected by Hamas, and vowed to take any steps necessary to bring three teens back.
The current assessment is that the three kidnapped teens are still alive and in the West Bank, military officials said.