Palestinian leader condemns abduction of Israelis


RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has condemned the abduction of three Israeli teens in his first public comments since they went missing in the West Bank four days ago.

Israel has alleged the abductions were carried out by the Islamic militant group Hamas, but has also held Abbas and his self-rule government in the West Bank responsible for the fate of the three Jewish seminary students.

Earlier this month, Abbas formed a unity government that has the backing of Hamas.

In a statement Monday, his office condemned both the kidnappings and the subsequent Israeli crackdown.

The statement says "the Palestinian leadership condemns the series of events ... beginning with the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens and ending with a series of Israeli violations."

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