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Release kidnapped Israeli teens - SA

Johannesburg - The South African government on Friday called on the kidnappers of three Israeli teenagers to release them.

An Israeli soldier detains a Palestinian during an operation to locate three Israeli teens near the West Bank City of Hebron. Photo: Mussa Qawasma. Credit: Reuters

It condemned the kidnapping, which happened in an Israeli settlement eight days ago, and “all forms and manner” of terrorism, international relations and co-operation department spokesman Clayson Monyela said in a statement.

“South Africa believes that terrorism, in any form and from whichever quarter, cannot be condoned.”

Agence France-Presse reported that the three, two of them minors, disappeared from a popular hitch-hiking spot near the southern West Bank Gush Etzion settlement late on June 12.

Israel blamed Islamist movement Hamas and has so far arrested 280 Palestinians in a military operation to find the three.

Monyela said: “The South African government calls upon all parties involved to exercise restraint, including a halt to the arbitrary arrest of Palestinian citizens and the use of collective punishment of Palestinians and the disturbance of their social and economic rights.”

South Africa had bilateral relations with Israel and Palestine and would monitor developments with “keen interest”. - Sapa

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