US Citizen Among 3 Israeli Teens Feared Kidnapped

Boys went missing last night while hitchhiking in West Bank

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 13, 2014 5:02 PM CDT

(Newser) – Israeli forces are conducting an intense search in the West Bank for three male teenagers they think were kidnapped by Palestinian militants, reports the Jerusalem Post. One of the teens is a US citizen, but not much else is known about him. Two of the teens are age 16 and the third is 19, and they were reportedly hitchhiking home last night when snatched near Hebron, reports Haaretz. The best guess is that militants will try to use them in a swap for prisoners held in Israeli jails.

Israeli police got a cell phone call from one of the youths about 10pm yesterday, and though he didn't speak, the noise in the background suggested they were in trouble, reports the New York Times. The only lead is the discovery of stolen, burnt car in the area. Benjamin Netanyahu, who has met with his senior leaders on the case, says he holds the Palestinian Authority responsible for the boys' safety. The development comes less than two weeks after Palestinians formed a new government, though Israel thinks it's controlled by Hamas and refuses to negotiate on anything beyond security issues.

Israeli soldiers transport a burnt car which is reportedly connected to the disappearance of three teenagers near the West Bank city of Hebron.   (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
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