Last week, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas condemned the abduction of three Israeli youths by terrorist elements and suggested that his forces were aiding the Jewish state in its search for the captives.
That statement sparked fury among a Palestinian public that has since voiced its strong support for kidnapping.
Now, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (pictured) says that Abbas was misinterpreted, and that his government is, in fact, not helping Israel to find Eyal Yifrah (19), Gilad Shaar (16) and Naftali Frenkel (16).
The Palestinian Authority continues its security coordination with Israel, Hamdallah told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency, but stressed that this does not constitute cooperation in the abduction case.
“We do not accept that our security services will work for the occupation,” insisted Hamdallah. “Our security services are for our sons, and most of them are ex-prisoners [ie. jailed terrorists] who are patriotic… we do not give information regarding our residents to the occupation.”
Hamdallah has appealed the international community to condemn Israel’s military operation aimed at finding and rescuing the captive Jewish youths.