US urges Israeli-Palestinian restraint

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iol news pic GAZ02_PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-_0619_11 REUTERS Israeli soldiers take part in an operation to locate three Israeli teens near the West Bank City of Hebron. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma

Washington - The US State Department declined on Monday to confirm reports the bodies of three missing Israeli teenagers had been found, and urged Israel and the Palestinians to exercise restraint and continue security cooperation.

Asked if the US message remained one of calling for restraint, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters: “It certainly does.”

Psaki said Washington has been in touch with both sides in recent weeks “encouraging security cooperation, that the Israelis and the Palestinians continue to work with one another on that, and we certainly would continue to urge that ... in spite of, obviously, the tragedy and the enormous pain on the ground.”

Earlier, she declined to confirm Israeli media reports that Israeli security forces had found the bodies of the three teenagers who went missing in the West Bank earlier this month.

“We have seen the reports. I don't have anything to confirm from here. I would point you to the government of Israel,” Psaki said at the briefing. “The kidnapping and, of course, any harm that has been done to these teenagers is a tragedy.”


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