A Palestinian uses a sling to hurl a stone towards Israeli police during clashes in Shuafat, an Arab suburb of occupied Jerusalem July 2, 2014. (REUTERS/Baz Ratner)
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A top Hamas official said members of his militant group kidnapped three Israeli teenagers whose deaths in June provoked a spiral of violence that led to the war in Gaza, the first acknowledgement of the movement's involvement.Hamas, which controls Gaza, has up to now refused to confirm or deny Israeli accusations that it masterminded the abduction and killing of the three young men, one of them a joint U.S.-Israeli citizen, in Hebron. Israel promptly accused Hamas, which is based in Gaza but has a presence in the West Bank, of masterminding the attack and began a crackdown on the group in which over a thousand Palestinians were arrested.
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