On the 12th day of Operation Brother's Keeper (the code name given for the Israeli Defense Force operation to locate three abducted youths), a military source related to the arrest of 57 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails who had been released in the Gilad Shalit deal said that they will be tried.
The justification for the arrests was that, in Israel's view, the men had been “engaged in terrorism since then and were not arrested in connection with abduction of the youths” and, “several of those released in the Shalit deal who have been arrested were planning additional abductions”.
Security forces offered no evidence to their claims in the arrests – but all the men are associated with Hamas.
Hamas's leadership has now spoken up about what is happening both to their group and the missing teens.
They said that the Unity Deal with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas led Hamas to lower its profile regarding the abduction of the Israeli youths.
Regarding Hamas and those young Jewish men kidnapped, Khaled Mashal said; “I would be proud if Hamas members are the abductors but I have no information” as he waved pictures of the youths.
These are his first comments on the abduction.
The head of Hamas's political office refused to confirm or deny that Hamas was behind the action.
Mashal did expresses support for his groups “the struggle to free our prisoners”.
Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has said that he has proof that Hamas was behind the kidnapping and will reveal that to the world soon.
Mr. Netanyahu also backtracked on his critical statements against President Abbas saying that he appreciated the Palestinian leaders words regarding the release of the teens.
Middle East Correspondent