Three teenagers hitchhiking in the West Bank missing since Thursday have allegedly been kidnapped by terrorists linked to ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Sunni jihadi organization that has taken over major cities in Syria and is now behind this week’s bloody insurgency in Iraq.
Reuters’ Jerusalem bureau received a call claiming responsibility for the kidnappings by “Dawlat al-Islam,” an ISIS branch operating in Hebron. The caller said the incident was in retaliation for the killing of three of its members.
Israeli authorities are still assessing the validity of the claim.
Two of the teens are 16 and the third is 19, according to authorities. One is a U.S. citizen.
“Dawlat al-Islam,” is an extremist Salafi organization linked to ISIS.
In addition, the organization has distributed flyers in Hebron, claiming responsibility for the kidnappings, according to Israel’s Channel 10.
The flyers, written in Arabic, said:
Thanks to Allah, our holy warriors were able to kidnap three Zionist aggressors in the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank.
That comes as part of the initial response to the assassination of our heroic holy warriors in Hebron, “Muhammad Nairoukh,” 29 years old, “Mahmoud Al-Najjar,” 23 years old, and Musi Makhamreh,” 22 years old. And that [also] comes as part of the pursuit to liberate our prisoners from the occupation forces’ prisons.
And it is [either] a jihad [for] victory or martyrdom
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Palestine – the West Bank
Friday, 15th of Sha’ban 1435, June 13, 2014
In November of last year, Israeli forces killed three terrorists from a cell in the South Hebron Hills village of Kfar Yatta, where explosive devices meant for a terrorist attack on Israel were found at the site.