Israel calls on Abbas to break with Hamas, after blaming the group for kidnapping three Israeli teens whose bodies were found in the West Bank. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
The bodies of three missing Israeli teenagers were found in the occupied West Bank on Monday and Israel is now vowing to punish Hamas, the Palestinian group it accuses of abducting and killing them. In a statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the teenagers were kidnapped and murdered "in cold blood by beasts." He blames Hamas for their deaths and vowed to make the group pay. Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev is now calling on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to denounce Hamas. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ISRAELI GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON, MARK REGEV, SAYING: "Israel tonight mourns the three teenagers brutally murdered by the Hamas terrorists. And unfortunately this atrocity is the direct result of the decision by president Abbas to unite with Hamas, allowing them to re-establish their presence in the West Bank. We call upon President Abbas to unequivocally and immediately break his alliance with Hamas. He can't claim to be a partner in peace if he has a pact with these murderers of children." Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri says the group will not run scared. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HAMAS SPOKESMAN, SAMI ABU ZUHRI, SAYING: "The story of the disappearance and the killing of the three settlers relies only on the Israeli tale, and the Israeli occupation is trying to utilize this tale to enforce aggression on the Palestinians and the resistance, Hamas movement. We stress that the Israeli threats don't scare Hamas, not its leadership nor our Palestinian people and we warn the occupation from waging any war or wide scale aggression against our Palestinian people. And we stress the readiness of the resistance to any attack because the price that the occupation will pay in exchange for any aggression will be even bigger." The United States, while condemning the kidnapping, has urged Israel to pursue a measured response.