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Netanyahu to Ban: No Doubt that Hamas Was Behind Kidnapping

Israel has information that proves without a doubt that Hamas was behind the kidnapping of three youths, PM tells UN chief.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 6/22/2014, 6:16 AM

Prime Minister Netanyahu and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
Prime Minister Netanyahu and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday and told him that the information in Israel's hands unequivocally indicates that Hamas is responsible for the abduction of three Israeli teenagers last week, adding that this needs to be expressed in actions on the ground.

According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu told Ban that Israel opposes the transfer of funds from Qatar to Hamas and said that Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas needs to end the pact with Hamas, which is responsible for the abduction of the youths and which calls for Israel's destruction.

Netanyahu stressed that the goal of the Israeli security operation in Judea and Samaria is to discover the location of the three abducted youths and that, therefore, it is focusing on Hamas.

According to the statement, the Prime Minister also told Ban that we are witnessing the unrestrained brutality of Islamic terrorism both in Israel and around us and asserted that the State of Israel is determined to defend itself in the face of the murderous terrorism directed against it.

The conversation between Ban and Netanyahu comes several days after a spokesperson for Ban claimed that the UN has no "concrete evidence" that Eyal Yifrah, 19, Naftali Frenkel, 16, and Gilad Sha'ar, 16, were "actually" kidnapped by Hamas terrorists.

The spokesperson, Farhan Haq, was quoted by Kol Yisrael radio as saying the UN does not have an independent investigative unit that could confirm the kidnapping.

The comments came after Ban had already condemned the kidnapping, noting particularly that two of the kidnapped Israeli students are minors.

Netanyahu’s remarks in the conversation with Ban also come in the wake of a statement by the UN’s Middle East envoy, Robert Serry, who spoke out on Friday against Israel’s operation in Judea and Samaria to locate the three teenagers.

While Serry called for the release of the three, he expressed “deep concern” over Israel’s arrest of wanted terrorists.

Former Israeli Ambassador to Canada Dr. Alan Baker has formally requested that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon revoke the Palestinian Authority's (PA) observer status, in light of their unity with Hamas.

"The tragic abduction and imprisonment of three young Israelis by a terrorist organization, attached to what you call the 'State of Palestine' and now considered a state observer at the UN, is a gross violation of humanitarian norms and conventions," Baker wrote.