The local consulate, which caters to the mid-Atlantic region, echoed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in holding the Palestinian Authority responsible for the abduction.
The Israeli Consulate in Philadelphia released a statement condemning the June 12 abduction of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank.
Here is the statement in its entirety:
On Thursday night (June 12th) three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped in the West Bank by Hamas terrorists. Israel is engaged in an intensive operation to return Gilad Sha'er (16), Naftali Frenkel (16), who has dual Israeli-American citizenship, and Eyal Yifrah (19) to their families.
The kidnapping validates Israel's assessment that the pact between Palestinian Authority President Abbas and Hamas would strengthen Palestinian terrorist organizations, push peace further away and destabilize the area.
Those who thought that the pact with Hamas would reform the terrorist organization and thereby advance peace, must realize today that endorsing that union not only did not tame Palestinian terrorism, but rather empowered it.
Hamas does not need any reason, excuse or incentive to murder and kidnap Israelis. Terrorist attacks are Hamas' raison d'etre. Dozens of attempted kidnappings have been foiled in the last year alone. Today it is clear that the Fatah-Hamas pact has opened the door to wider Hamas activity in the West Bank and that Hamas has exploited the pact to strengthen its presence and increase its terrorist activity.
Israel holds the Palestinian Authority, headed by President Abbas, responsible for the fate of the kidnapped teens and for terrorist activity emanating from the areas under its control. President Abbas cannot absolve himself of his responsibility. The Palestinian Authority — from whose territory the kidnappers came — must do whatever is necessary to assist in bringing the teens home.
The international community should unequivocally condemn the Hamas attack on innocent Israeli teenagers and demand that Palestinian leadership and security forces cooperate fully with Israeli authorities to ensure that Eyal, Gil-Ad and Naftali are returned to their families unscathed as soon as possible.