Three Israeli seminary students (religious high school students) studying in West Bank settlements were feared kidnapped by Palestinians Thursday night. Israeli security forces set up a massive dragnet in search of the three teenagers, imposing severe restrictions on movement in much of the south Hebron hills area.
According to Haaretz, the three were hitchhiking home from their respective seminaries when they disappeared. A cellphone trace put their last known location near Hebron. Haaretz also reported that a radical Salafist organization associated with ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.
According to Ma’an News Agency, Israeli forces raided a number of homes in the Sanjar area of Dura, a city southwest of Hebron, on Friday in search of the youths.
A burnt out car with Israeli license plates was also found in the area. It is unclear whether it was related to the incident.
Israeli media were unable to report on the apparent kidnapping until Friday evening due to restrictions placed upon it.