BEIRUT

Middle East

Hamas chief unaware who snatched Israeli teens

Palestinian youth run from tear gas during clashes with Israeli soldiers as troops search for three missing Israeli teens, feared abducted in the West Bank last week, in Halhul near the West Bank city of Hebron June 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

DOHA: Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal has denied having information about three Israeli teenagers thought to have been kidnapped by the Islamist movement in the West Bank, in an interview aired Tuesday.

"Frankly, we do not have information about what happened," the exiled head of Hamas' politburo told Doha-based Al-Jazeera television.

Meshaal also slammed security coordination between the Palestinian Authority and Israel as a "disaster," a week after Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas pledged to maintain such coordination.

Since the youths disappeared from a hitchhiking stop in the southern West Bank on June 12, Israel has rounded up hundreds of Palestinians in a bid to find them, while also dealing a crushing blow to Hamas' West Bank network.

If the missing Israelis turn out to have been captured, their kidnapping would be "a logical and natural reaction to the violations of occupation forces," Meshaal said, quoted by Al-Jazeera's website.

"We support every resistance attack against the Israeli occupation, which has to pay for its tyranny."

Meshaal said that the Palestinian Authority should abandon security coordination with Israel.

"It is unbelievable to reward Israel for its crimes through security coordination," he said.

Abbas vowed during a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Saudi Arabia last week to maintain security coordination with Israel.

"It is in our interest to have security coordination with Israel because that would help protect us," Abbas said at the time.

 

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Summary

Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal has denied having information about three Israeli teenagers thought to have been kidnapped by the Islamist movement in the West Bank, in an interview aired Tuesday.

Meshaal also slammed security coordination between the Palestinian Authority and Israel as a "disaster," a week after Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas pledged to maintain such coordination.

Meshaal said that the Palestinian Authority should abandon security coordination with Israel.


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