June 15, 2014 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas of kidnapping three Israeli teenagers.
The students went missing on Thursday near an Israeli settlement in the West Bank on their way back from lessons.
Hamas has denied it was involved in their disappearance.
The disappearance is being seen as the biggest strain on relations between the two sides since a Palestinian unity government was announced in April.
‘Those who carried out the kidnapping of our youngsters are Hamas people,’ Mr Netanyahu said.
Mr Netanyahu pointed to the fact that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas recently announced a unity government backed by Hamas.
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The GMBDW reported last week on reports that US officials have been holding secret back-channel talks with Hamas over the last six months to discuss their role in the newly formed unity government.
The Hamas charter says that it is “one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and soon after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the newly opened border to review Hamas military formations. A Hamas journalist has acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons and Hamas is known to be supported financially and politically by the global Muslim Brotherhood. A Muslim Brotherhood spokesman revealed that a coalition of London-based Muslim groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, were behind the mass demonstrations staged to protest Israeli actions in the 2008 Gaza war and the Global Muslim Brotherhood and its Turkish affiliates were also intimately involved, along with the Turkish government, in the June 2010 Gaza flotilla that was involved in a violent altercation with Israeli naval forces. Following a period of seeming ascension related to the period of Egyptian rule by the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization was forced to scramble to try and find other state sponsors after Mohamed Morsi was deposed as President. In September 2013, it appeared that Hamas had succeeded in re-establishing close ties with Iran. In January 2013, Israeli intelligence sources claimed that Turkey has replaced Iran as the chief source of Hamas financing.