A branch of the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’ terror group has claimed responsibility for the disappearance of three Israeli teens in the West Bank on Thursday night.
The bloodthirsty terror group has gained prominence in recent days for capturing large swaths of western Iraq after three years of fighting in the Syrian civil war. ISIS has developed a reputation for particular brutality including beheadings, mass murder and crucifixions.
On Friday, Reuter’s Jerusalem bureau fielded a call from ‘Dawlat al-Islam,’ an ISIS branch operating in Hebron. The caller claimed responsibility for the kidnappings and said the incident was in retaliation for the killing of three of its members, Fox News contributor Lisa Daftari reported on her blog.
In addition, flyers signed by the group making the same claim were distributed near Hebron.
Daftari translated the flyers written in Arabic:
Thanks to Allah, our holy warriors were able to kidnap three Zionist aggressors in the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank.
That comes as part of the initial response to the assassination of our heroic holy warriors in Hebron, “Muhammad Nairoukh,” 29 years old, “Mahmoud Al-Najjar,” 23 years old, and Musi Makhamreh,” 22 years old. And that [also] comes as part of the pursuit to liberate our prisoners from the occupation forces’ prisons.
And it is [either] a jihad [for] victory or martyrdom
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Palestine – the West Bank
Friday, 15th of Sha’ban 1435, June 13, 2014
Israeli Army forces are currently conducting a widespread operation in order to locate the missing individuals. Two of the boys are 16 years old and attend the Mekor Chaim Yeshiva High School in the area. The third teen is 19.
Security officials believe that a torched car found by Palestinian police in the vicinity of Hebron on Friday was likely used in the presumed kidnapping of the students, the Times of Israel reported.
The three got on a hitch at about 22:30 Thursday night near the Israeli village of Alon Shvut, according to Israel Radio. One of the youths managed to send an alert to the local security hotline before his cellphone went dead.
One of the boys holds American citizenship, and the government has alerted the U.S. Embassy.
Terror group Hamas is calling the trio “Israeli soldiers” and Hamas and Islamic Jihad have called for kidnapping Israelis as bargaining chips to gain the release of Palestinian convicts.
A Hamas spokesman rejoiced in the news, saying, “the Hebron operation is a great success for the [Palestinian] resistance in the West Bank.” The Palestinian Authority, which recently inked a government unity agreement with the terror group, has of yet not made a statement.
The Israelis, however, say that they hold the PA responsible for the safety of the boys.
“Israel holds the Palestinian Authority responsible for the well-being of the three missing teenagers,” Aaron Sagui, the spokesman of the Israeli Embassy in Washington told The Algemeiner.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu called the families of the teens, in order to comfort them and tell them that the government and security forces were doing everything possible to find and rescue their children.
Both of Israel’s chief rabbis have called on the public to pray for the safety of the boys, and to keep them in mind when lighting neiros Shabbos. The rabbis advised reading kappitlach 121 and 130