Israel's initial response to the kidnapping of the three teens, who had been hitchhiking in the West Bank, was to view the crime in a political context. Mr. Netanyahu blamed Hamas, and Israel launched military operations in the West Bank to search for the teens and anyone who might have been connected with their disappearance. Hundreds of Palestinians, including much of Hamas' leadership in the West Bank, were arrested, and at least five Palestinians were killed. Palestinian Authority leaders, including President Mahmoud Abbas, decried the kidnappings and killings, but Hamas praised them. Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip also launched a new round of rocket attacks on Israel in response to the Israeli operations in the West Bank, and Israel has retaliated with air strikes, most recently one that reportedly killed at least six Palestinians (though Israel denies this).