Israel searches for 'kidnapped' students

The Israeli army is searching for three Jewish
teenagers who disappeared while returning
home from their religious school in the
occupied West Bank, in what the military is
calling a suspected kidnapping, officials have

The students, aged 16 to 19, disappeared on
Thursday night around 10pm local time after
leaving Kfar Etzion, an illegal settlement
between Jerusalem and Hebron.

Two of them are students at a yeshiva, a Jewish
seminary, in the settlement.
An army spokesman said the trio may have
tried to hitchhike to their homes to Modi’in, a
city in central Israel, before they disappeared.

“We are concentrating a large intelligence
effort on trying to locate the missing,” said
Brigadier General Moti Almoz.

Soldiers also
found a burned-out car in the area on Friday,
but it is unclear whether the two are related.

The army has set up checkpoints and deployed
additional troops in the area, and there were
reports of raids on Palestinian homes in
villages around Hebron.

Stories embargoed

Israeli media were largely barred from
covering the story until late Friday afternoon
because of a military gag order.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz briefly reported
a shootout near Hebron between Israeli
soldiers and unknown gunmen, but removed
the story later.

Palestinian media, and the Israeli channel i24,
also reported an operation to free the students
in which five Palestinians were killed.

The army denied those stories, and they too
were eventually taken down.
“These rumors have no basis,” Almoz said.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
said in a statement that Israel “holds the
Palestinian Authority responsible for the safety
of the missing [students].”
Major General Adnan al-Damiri, the spokesman
for the Palestinian security services, dismissed
the statement as a “joke,” saying that Israel
had not asked the PA for help in the search.

“They were in an area under the occupation’s
control, according to the Oslo Accords, and
not in areas under the control of the
Palestinian Authority,” Damiri told the Quds
Network, a Palestinian news website.

Almoz said on Friday night that the army was
starting to coordinate with the PA security


Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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