Israeli officials, world leaders, and supporters of Israel worldwide have condemned the killings of Eyal Yifrach, Gil-ad Shaar and Naftali Frankel, whose bodies were discovered earlier today near Hebron.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the beginning of tonight’s security cabinet meeting:
“With heavy grief, this evening we found three bodies. All signs indicate that they are the bodies of our three abducted youths – Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frankel.
They were abducted and murdered in cold blood by human animals. On behalf of the entire Jewish People, I would like to tell the dear families – the mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, and brothers and sisters – we are deeply saddened, the entire nation weeps with you. We will give the boys a proper burial. ‘Vengeance for the blood of a small child, Satan has not yet created.’
neither has vengeance for the blood of three pure youths, who were on their way home to meet their parents, who will not see them anymore.
Hamas is responsible – and Hamas will pay.
May the memories of the three boys be blessed.”
President Barack Obama released a statement.
On behalf of the American people I extend my deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel – who held Israeli and American citizenship. As a father, I cannot imagine the indescribable pain that the parents of these teenage boys are experiencing. The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms this senseless act of terror against innocent youth. From the outset, I have offered our full support to Israel and the Palestinian Authority to find the perpetrators of this crime and bring them to justice, and I encourage Israel and the Palestinian Authority to continue working together in that effort. I also urge all parties to refrain from steps that could further destabilize the situation. As the Israeli people deal with this tragedy, they have the full support and friendship of the United States.
I'm saddened by the news that the bodies of 3 kidnapped Israeli boys have been found. This was an appalling and inexcusable act of terror.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) June 30, 2014
Killing of the 3 Israeli teenagers an act of terror. My deepest sympathies to the families and to all Israelis as they mourn this sad loss
— William Hague (@WilliamJHague) June 30, 2014
Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said, “Hearing about the murders has deeply moved me. In these hard times our thoughts are with the victims’ families and friends.”
French President Francois Hollande condemned the “”cowardly murder.” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that he was “deeply shocked and upset by the news of the murder of three young people.”
Sickened by the news of three Israeli teenagers being found murdered near Hebron. Those responsible must be brought to justice. #cdnpoli
— Stephen Harper (@stephenharper) June 30, 2014
— John Baird (@Baird) June 30, 2014
The Times of Israel reported that politicians from across the political spectrum condemned the killings. Outgoing Israeli President Shimon Peres said, “Alongside the heavy mourning, we will remain determined to punish the villainous terrorists with a firm hand. Our war on terror will only grow, and will not be weakened, such that this murderous terror will not dare raise its head.”
Members of Knesset also expressed their outrage.
“The kidnapping and murder of innocent youths in the dead of the night is a heinous and unforgivable crime,” opposition leader and Labor Party chairman Isaac Herzog said in a Facebook statement. “There is no human explanation or justification and I am convinced that the long arm of the security forces will reach the murderers.”
Finance Minister Yair Lapid simply wrote “The heart is broken,” and Labor MK Shelly Yachimovich said: “There are no words to comfort the parents of children 16 years old whose deaths were untimely and under such violent and cruel circumstances.”
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein called for military action against Hamas.
Shocked, saddened & outraged at reports that bodies of 3 kidnapped boys have been found. Condemn their murder wholeheartedly.
— Dave Sharma (@AusAmbIsrael) June 30, 2014
Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki Moon issued a statement.
The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms the murder of the three Israeli teenagers abducted on 12 June in the West Bank. There can be no justification for the deliberate killing of civilians. He hopes Israeli and Palestinian authorities will work together to bring the perpetrators swiftly to justice, and extends his deepest sympathy to the families of the victims.
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) June 30, 2014
Deeply saddened and outraged by news of the tragic murders of #EyalGiladNaftali in Israel. NYC mourns them together with their families.
— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) June 30, 2014
House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce released a statement:
“Our nation’s thoughts and prayers are with the families of Naftali Frenkel, Eyal Yifrach and Gilad Shaar. Naftali Frankel was a dual US-Israeli citizen. The killers must be held accountable. The brutal murder of these boys should leave the Administration with no illusion that a Hamas-backed Palestinian government will be a partner for peace. With these killings, the genocidal intent of Hamas has been laid bare yet again.”
— Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (@RosLehtinen) June 30, 2014
The Jerusalem Post reports on the reactions from various Jewish organizations.
World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder called upon Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to immediately remove anyone with links to Hamas from his government and “fight terrorism vigorously and urgently” while also pressing for both the United States and European Union to cease funding Ramallah. …
The American Jewish Committee noted in a statement that “the kidnapping and murders took place shortly after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas established a unity government with Hamas,” citing the more than twenty five rockets that have been fired from Gaza into Israeli territory in recent days.
The Haredi organization Agudath Israel of America faulted the ongoing incitement by the Palestinian Authority for the killings.
“The hatred and incitement that have characterized so much of the campaign to establish a new Arab state alongside Israel are what have yielded these young lifeless bodies, and all the death and destruction born of Arab terrorism over the years. There are those who believe that all people are, deep down, good. Hamas and its friends, along with other terrorist groups and rogue nations like Iran, give the lie to that lovely but naïve fantasy.”
Tel Aviv mourns. Unbelievable to see the unity in this country during hard times. pic.twitter.com/pSvh1rTCX3
— Ben Lang (@benln) June 30, 2014
[Photo: CBN News / YouTube ]