SWC Calls on US to Reassess its Decision to Engage with Palestinian Unity Government in View of Brazen Kidnapping

With the announcement today by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the kidnapping of 3 Israeli teenagers in Gush Etzion was carried out by Hamas, the Simon Wiesenthal Center calls upon the United States to reassess its position to engage with the new Palestinian unity government.

“With this attack, Hamas is sending a clear message to the world saying do not believe President Mahmoud Abbas  when he says that the unity government is made up of technocrats dressed in suits.  The  message of the kidnappers is crystal clear: We have not changed our uniforms at all - we were terrorists yesterday, we are terrorists today, and we will remain terrorists until there is no Israel,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, Founder and Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

“The US message should be equally as clear: we will never engage with terrorists,” Hier concluded.

Hamas’ military wing has praised the kidnapping while a Hamas official criticized the Palestinian Authority security forces for carrying out arrests in an effort to find the kidnapped teenagers.

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 members. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS and the Latin American Parliament.