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Israeli soldiers patrol during a military operation to search for three missing teenagers outside the West Bank city of Hebron, Sunday, June 15, 2014. Israeli troops on Sunday arrested some 80 Palestinians, including dozens of members of Hamas, in an overnight raid in the West Bank as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Islamic militant group of kidnapping three teenagers who went missing nearly three days ago. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed) (Majdi Mohammed)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaves a press conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday, June 15, 2014. Netanyahu has condemned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' agreement with the militant group, and said he would hold him responsible for the safety of the youths, who disappeared apparently while hitchhiking in the West Bank late Thursday. (AP Photos/Dan Balilty) (Dan Balilty)
Palestinian leader condemns abduction of Israelis
Palestinian president condemns abduction of 3 Israeli teens

Posted on June 16, 2014 at 5:47 a.m.

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has condemned the abduction of three Israeli teens in his first public comments since they went missing in the West Bank four days ago.

Israel has alleged the abductions were carried out by the Islamic militant group Hamas, but has also held Abbas and his self-rule government in the West Bank responsible for the fate of the three Jewish seminary students.

Earlier this month, Abbas formed a unity government that has the backing of Hamas.

In a statement Monday, his office condemned both the kidnappings and the subsequent Israeli crackdown.

The statement says “the Palestinian leadership condemns the series of events ... beginning with the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens and ending with a series of Israeli violations.”