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PA Foreign Minister: Kidnapping might be "a childish game on Israel's part"

Excerpt from an interview given by PA Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad Al-Malki to Asharq Al-Awsat

“Is there security coordination between the PA and Israel regarding the present Israeli operations in the West Bank in search of the three missing Israeli settlers?”

A: “Security coordination is continuing nonstop between the Palestinian and Israeli security forces, regardless of whether or not there are people missing. From the start we deemed it correct that there be security coordination between us, purely out of Palestinian interests, because it helps us maintain security within Palestine and prevents Israel from interfering with [our] security issues. As for the disappearance of the three Israelis (i.e., kidnapping of three Israeli youths on June 12, 2014), we and the entire world saw that the Israeli government tried to exploit their disappearance to destroy the achievements of the Palestinian people and the success it has had in ending the conflict [with Hamas] and beginning reconciliation within the framework of the national consensus [reached between Fatah and Hamas]. We will not allow the exploitation of this affair (i.e., the kidnapping) for Israel’s political security gains in Palestine… Israel is trying to find justification to continue the killing of Palestinians, the expropriation of lands, construction of settlements, deployment of soldiers, destruction of homes and incarceration of large numbers [of Palestinians].
It [Israel] sees this (the affair with the missing [Israelis]) as a historic opportunity to extricate himself (Netanyahu) from the crisis he is embroiled in; since he was the only one to oppose the national reconciliation government, he used the kidnapping affair in order to argue that, were it not for the reconciliation government, the Israeli settlers would not have been kidnapped. In addition, he is also responsible for the failure of the negotiations. These things placed Israel in international isolation, and it [Israel] is therefore trying to use this affair to extricate itself from its isolation and move from the defensive to the offensive, to prove that it is a victim of this aggression and barbarism. We are doing everything in order to solve the disappearance of the Israeli settlers, and to find them.”

Q: “Do you agree with Israel’s claim that Hamas is behind the kidnapping?”

A: “We do not agree. They (the Israelis) themselves have no proof that Hamas is behind this operation, nor have they succeeded in producing any proof confirming this [claim]. In light of the fact that they have no proof, there are three possible scenarios for the incident: either the kidnapping is a childish game on Israel’s part, meant to attract attention; or it is part of a bigger game meant to turn the Israelis from aggressors into victims; or they really were kidnapped. But the question is: Who kidnapped them? It might have been Jewish criminal elements, or Palestinian criminal elements, or Jewish-Palestinian criminal elements who did this to exploit [the affair] for their own personal interest – or they might be various Palestinian factions.”