Egypt to Israel: Show self-restraint in crackdown on Hamas
CAIRO - Egypt on Monday called on Israel to show "self-restraint" in its massive crackdown on Hamas in the Palestinian territories as security forces hunt for three kidnapped teenagers.
Cairo's call comes after Israeli troops killed a 19-year-old Palestinian during clashes and arrested more than 40 people overnight, including the parliament speaker, a Hamas member.
The Israeli military says that more than 150 Palestinians have been arrested in the search for the three youths it says were kidnapped by Hamas militants from a settlement bloc in the southern West bank on Thursday night.
Egypt's foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdellaty said in a statement that Israel must show "maximum self-restraint" after reports of "Israel's intention to expand its security operations in the West Bank... in response to the kidnapping of three Israeli citizens".
He also urged Israel to refrain from "escalating the situation... between the Palestinian and Israeli sides... and prevent it from deteriorating in a way that would make it difficult to control later".
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Monday condemned the kidnapping, but also denounced the wave of Israeli arrests.
With the manhunt for the missing youths in its fourth day, Israeli security forces are focusing on the southern West Bank city of Hebron and the surrounding area, home to some 663,000 Palestinians.