Daily Israel Report

Netanyahu Demands Abbas Cancel Hamas Unity

With announcement of Hamas terrorists behind kidnapping, PM says Abbas needs to act fast.
By Yaakov Levi
First Publish: 6/26/2014, 10:11 PM

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday said that, with the IDF announcement of the identities of two Hamas terrorists behind the kidnappings of three Israeli teens, he expected Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to officially break his unity agreement with Hamas.

“We said all along that it was Hamas that was behind the kidnappings, and today our security officials released the names of some of the terrorists who planned and executed the kidnappings,” Netanyahu said. “There is no question about their identity or affiliation.”

On Thursday night, security officials said that they had identified two Hamas terrorists involved in the kidnappings of Israeli teens Eyal Yifrah (19), Naftali Frenkel (16), and Gilad Sha'ar (16).

The two, Marwan Kawasmeh and Amar Abu-Eisha, are well-known Hamas terrorists operating in the Hevron area. Security forces are in pursuit of the two, the army said.

On a visit to Saudi Arabia last week, Abbas condemned the kidnappings while playing victim, saying “those who kidnapped the three teenagers want to destroy us (the PA). We will hold them accountable."

The PA had already  threatened to end its unity deal with Hamas over the kidnapping according to unconfirmed reports, even as it celebrates the kidnapping.

“I expect Abbas to live up to the important things he said in Saudi Arabia,” said Netanyahu. “Let him stand behind the comments he made and break the agreement with Hamas,” he said.

Last week, Hamas-Fatah unity government Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki accused Israel of not only conducting an "exaggerated" and "political" search for three teens, but also of fabricating the abduction itself.

"He (Netanyahu) cannot keep blaming one side without showing evidence," Malki said. "When you go to court if you don't show evidence you lose your case," said Malki. "If Netanyahu has any evidence, he has to put it on the table."

Meanwhile senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub, who is close to Abbas, last Thursday justified the kidnapping, saying "kidnappings are the only language that Israel understands."