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Netanyahu’s priorities

Jun 18,2014 - Last updated at Jun 18,2014

Three Israeli teenagers are believed to have been kidnapped by, so far, an unidentified entity, an act that gave Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the opportunity to blame Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.

The three, students at a yeshiva school in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, were last seen hitchhiking outside the settlement.

Search operations were mounted, which is only legitimate, but Israel started arresting Palestinians, a move seen as scoring political points after the establishment of the Palestinian unity government, which much irks Netanyahu.

It is unfortunate and regrettable that young people should disappear in thin air, but with no clear facts established yet, accusations cannot be levelled at whim.

If, as believed by many, they were taken hostage, one can only condemn the move.

No child, Israeli, Palestinian or of any other country, should be used as pawn for any purpose.

But jumping to conclusions and accusing Hamas, or any other Palestinian group, of having carried out the alleged abduction is unjust and counterproductive.

The Israeli prime minister has quickly made Abbas responsible simply because the latter made peace with Hamas and agreed to a government including the Islamic group representatives.

The Palestinian leader has since decried the disappearance of the three youth and offered to do all he can to help find them.

Actually Palestinian security personnel took part in the search for the three Israelis, but no credit, of course, goes to them.

Instead of alienating the PA and its leader, Israel would do better by cooperating with the Palestinian side in order to bring the episode to a safe end.

At stake are the lives of three young people. Everything else — that is, the petty political wrangling Netanyahu cannot refrain from getting into — is secondary.

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