Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday evening, stressing his stance that Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas' unity government was to blame for the possible kidnapping of three Israeli teens that went missing and were possibly kidnapped in the West Bank Thursday night.
"Abu Mazen (Abbas) is responsible for the safety of the teens," Netanyahu said to Kerry. "This is the result of allowing a terrorist organization to join the government."
The prime minister's conversation with Kerry echoed his sentiments after a meeting held in Tel Aviv with Israel's top security officials.
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A senior state source said after the meeting, "This event is a direct continuation of escalation in Judea and Samaria since Abu Mazen allowed the terrorist organization Hamas to join the Palestinian government."
The three male Yeshiva students, including an American citizen, went missing Thursday night after they apparently tried to hitchhiking home in the Etzion region in the West Bank.
A massive search was underway all day Friday centering on the Hebron area where Palestinian media reported that the IDF had raided several homes and set up roadblocks.
Palestinian authorities rejected Netanyahu's comments as inflammatory and untrue. "Netanyahu would blame us for an earthquake," said a Palestinian security official.
"Israel needs to focus on finding the teens instead of blaming us," said Palestinian Authority representatives.
As of Friday night it was still unclear which, if any, organization was responsible for the assumed kidnapping of the boys, though Hamas representatives claimed that, "An organization affiliated with al-Qeada claimed responsibility for the kidnapping."
Roadblocks were also set up across southern Israel Friday in an attempt to prevent any transport of the victims from the West Bank to the Gaza strip.