Israel has "unequivocal proof" that the three teens who vanished last week in the West Bank were kidnapped by Hamas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet Sunday, and would soon make that proof public.
"Over the weekend I met with the parents of the abducted youths. I promised them that we are doing, and will do, everything to bring the abducted boys home safely," Netanyahu said.
"We are focusing on returning the abductees, on finding the kidnappers and on striking at the organization to which they belong. We have unequivocal proof that this is Hamas. We are sharing this proof and information to this effect with several countries. Soon this information will be made public."
The prime minister also challenged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' condemnation of the kidnapping, and called on him to make good on his call for the three boys to be returned, and to end his reconciliation agreement with Hamas.
"I think that at that time Abu Mazen's (Abbas) remarks in Saudi Arabia will be put to the test in practice," Netanyahu said. "His remarks will be tested not only by actions to return the boys home but by his willingness to dissolve the unity government with Hamas, which abducted the youths and calls for the destruction of Israel."
But a senior PLO official told Ynet on Sunday that Israel had failed to understand the meaning of Abbas' condemnation during such a sensitive period.
"When Yasser Arafat led the Palestinian Authority, Israel claimed he did not want to put an end to terror, despite having the ability to do so. Abbas not only says he want to stop terror, he also prevent no small number of lone terrorists. He is both willing and able," he said.
The official praised Abbas for his comments, which drew massive criticism, including from Hamas, and said there were few leaders who would have made such "brave" comments.
"Show me one Arab leader who would say something like that in front of a room of Arab foreign ministers being broadcast live," he said. "The true results of Abbas words will be seen in the near and distant future."
Speaking in Jeddah on Wednesday, Abbas accused those behind the kidnapping of trying seeking "to destroy" the Palestinians.
"The three teens are human beings like us and they should be returned to their families," he said, adding that "It is in our interest to have security coordination with Israel because that would help protect us."
Meanwhile, Abbas on Sunday called on Netanyahu to condemn the deaths of three Palestinians killed during IDF action launched in the wake of the abduction.
“What does Netanyahu have to say about the killings?" Abbas said during an interview with Haaretz. "Does he condemn it? Look at what’s happened all over the West Bank over the past days, the violence and the destruction of homes. Is that justified?”
The Palestinian leader said the abduction of the three teens "was a crime", but, he added, "does that justify the killing of three Palestinian teens in cold blood?
"We don’t want terror and we don’t want war. We want peace.”