IDF Spokesman Motti Almoz said on Friday evening that the IDF and the entire defense establishment were doing everything in their power to locate the three yeshiva students who went missing near Hevron.
Speaking at a press conference, Almoz said, “The IDF and the entire defense establishment, including intelligence and the Shin Bet, are doing everything they can to find the teenagers.”
He would not go into further details due to the sensitivity of the situation, but added, “The activities in Judea and Samaria require intelligence and operational sensitivity. We understand the need to know more information, but suggest that everyone be patient. After the incident is over, we will provide more details.”
The three students, two of whom are from the Makor Chaim Yeshiva in the religious kibbutz Kfar Etzion, went missing Thursday night.
All communication was lost with them as they were on their way home from the yeshiva, located in Gush Etzion, roughly between Jerusalem and Hevron in Judea. Security sources suspect they may have been taken into a vehicle driven by terrorists that stopped for them as they waited at a popular hitchhiking spot.
Massive IDF and police forces have been searching in the hours since the suspected kidnapping to try and locate the three young students, one of whom is a joint Israeli-American citizen.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has called an emergency meeting with security officials at the IDF's Tel Aviv headquarters; earlier the PM met in Jerusalem with the Defense Minister and Internal Security Minister over the crisis.
Netanyahu's office held the Palestinian Authority leadership responsible for the boys' disappearance.
"Israel holds the Palestinian Authority responsible for the well being of the 3 missing Israeli teens," the PM's spokesman Ofir Gendelman wrote on Twitter.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)