SA condemns Israeli teen kidnappings

The three Israeli students went missing on Thursday. (Reuters)

The three Israeli students went missing on Thursday. (Reuters)

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

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 spokesperson Clayson Monyela said in a statement on Friday.

“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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