Investigators assume three Israelis believed to be victims of kidnapping remain alive. An investigation finds they went missing after getting into a passing car while hitchhiking at a highway junction in the Gush Etzion settlement north of Hebron, where Israeli settlers routinely hitch rides on roads used by Israeli and Palestinian motorists. More than 48 hours after they disappear, Palestinians report Israeli authorities are searching homes in Hebron and surrounding villages and have arrested at least 12 people, but there are no indications they are closer to finding the alleged victims or kidnappers.
Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon after a briefing with senior army officers:
As long as we don’t know otherwise, our working assumption is that that they are alive. We are in the midst of an intelligence and operational effort […] and I hope that this effort will bring us to the missing people in order to rescue them alive.