Senior Hamas official Ismail al-Ashkar responded to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's accusations that the movement is behind the kidnapping of the three teens in the West Bank. "The kidnapping is a great honor we can neither confirm nor deny," al-Ashkar said in an official statement to the Hamas weekly al-Risala.
He added: "The statements made by leaders of the occupation and their claims about the movement's involvement in the incident do not interest us." Al-Ashkar further said that Israel is helpless in its efforts to search for the kidnapped teens. (Neemdor Semel)