ברוך דיין האמת
Blessed be the true judge…
Israel’s nearly month-long vigil for three teens kidnapped in the West Bank – including one with U.S. citizenship – ended grimly Monday, with the discovery of their bodies just north of Hebron.
The search for Eyal Yifrach, 19; Gilad Shaar, 16 and Naftali Frenkel, 16, who holds U.S. citizenship, who were snatched while hitchhiking, ended even as Israeli forces were conducting raids in the West Bank, where Hamas operates.
The abductions outraged the Jewish state as well as the international community, and several vigils and rallies were held around the U.S. during the intensive hunt. Hundreds of Palestinians took part in the search, dubbed “Brother’s Keeper.”
The three youths disappeared as they were heading home from a West Bank religious school. Israeli officials said at the time officials that one of the teens called a police emergency line around 10:25 p.m. and said, “We’ve been kidnapped.” They were not heard from again.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas criticized the kidnapping, and pledged help in the search but denied there was evidence linking Hamas to the crime. Hamas, which governs the Palestinian territories jointly with the PA, praised the kidnapping without claiming responsibility.
Netanyahu was expected to speak on the discovery Monday, but previously left little doubt as to who he blamed.
“Hamas terrorists carried out Thursday’s kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers,” Netanyahu said earlier this month. “We know that for a fact. Hamas denials do not change this fact.”