Israel PM says 'Hamas will pay' over settlers' death

Photo: Israel PM says 'Hamas will pay' over settlers' death / Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held Palestinian resistance group Hamas responsible for the death of three Israeli settlers who went missing in the West Bank in mid-June, vowing that "Hamas will pay", Anadolu Agency reported.

Netanyahu's remarks came just after the Israeli military confirmed that the three Israeli settlers who went missing earlier this month in the West Bank have been found dead.

Speaking at the start of a security cabinet meeting late on Monday, Netanyahu said the teenagers "were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by wild beasts."

For his part, Israeli President Shimon Peres condemned the killing of the three settlers and offered condolences to their families.

"We remain committed to bringing the terrorists to justice," he said in a statement. "Our resolve in the fight against terror will only strengthen and we will ensure that murderous terrorism of this sort will not dare to rear its head again."

The trio went missing on June 12 from a Jewish-only settlement in the southern West Bank, prompting Israel to launch a major search operation across the Palestinian territory.

Since then, Israel has rounded up hundreds of Palestinians in the West Bank, including lawmakers, former cabinet ministers and members of Hamas.

Although no Palestinian group claimed responsibility for the disappearance, Netanyahu had repeatedly accused Hamas of kidnapping the three young settlers.

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