Missing and Kidnapped Jewish Teens Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar & Naftali Fraenkel (Dual Israeli-American Citizenship) Found Deceased in West Bank … Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Vows, “Hamas Will Pay”
The search for three missing teens in Israel has come to a sad, savage and bloody end …
19 year old Eyal Yifrah, 16 year old Gilad Shaar and 16 year old Naftali Fraenkel, who had dual Israeli-American citizenship, have been missing since June 12, 2014 have been found murdered in the West Bank north of Hebron. The three went missing while hitching home from a West Bank religious school. Israeli officials said at the time that one of the teens called a police emergency line said: “We’ve been kidnapped.” They were not heard from again.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing “Hamas will pay.”
The Israeli air force conducted strikes early Tuesday morning against 34 targets in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip in response to rocket attacks against Israel’s southern communities. It was not immediately clear if the airstrikes, which targeted Hamas and Islamic Jihad assets in the strip and came after more than 20 rockets were fired into southern Israel over the past two days, resulted in any casualties, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Also on Tuesday, a Palestinian who Israel said was a member of Hamas was shot dead when he threw a grenade at forces carrying out an arrest raid in the West Bank. The man was the first casualty since the bodies were found.
UPDATE I: The Times of Israel: What happened on the night of the kidnapping.
The three teens were waiting at Geva’ot Intersection, west of the settlement of Alon Shvut in the Etzion Bloc south of Jerusalem, soon after 10:15 p.m, looking to catch a ride heading west on Route 367 toward Beit Shemesh and from there to locations in central Israel where each of them lived.
Inside the Hyundai, Israel alleges, were Hamas terrorists Amer Abu Aysha and Marwan Kawasme.
Recognizing, too late, that the car was not an innocent Israeli vehicle, one of the teens called the police at 10:25 p.m. and whispered, “We’ve been kidnapped.” The call was transferred immediately to a senior officer, who continued to ask questions but received no reply. The call lasted for 2:09 minutes and was then cut off. The officer called the number eight more times, but received three busy signals and reached voicemail five times.
The kidnappers, apparently realizing that a call had been made, shot the three teens dead soon afterwards in the backseat of the car, military sources said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday night that they were murdered “in cold blood.”
UPDATE II: Israel Launches Airstrikes in Gaza Strip.
Israel said it launched a series of airstrikes against targets in the Gaza Strip early Tuesday. The military said the strikes hit 34 targets and injured four Palestinians across the Hamas-controlled territory.
It also said approximately six rockets hit Israel, including two that struck an area north of the city of Sderot. No damage or injuries have yet been reported.
Israel bombed dozens of sites in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, striking at Hamas after finding the bodies of three missing teenagers whose abduction and killing it blames on the Palestinian Islamist group.
Israel’s security cabinet, which held an emergency session late on Monday and was due to meet again on Tuesday, was split on the scope of any further action in the coastal enclave or in the occupied West Bank, officials said. The United States and regional power-broker Egypt urged restraint.
The military said aircraft attacked 34 sites, mostly belonging to Hamas, though its statement did not link the strikes to the abductions. Palestinian medics said two people were slightly wounded.
The military cited 18 Palestinian rockets launched against Israel from Gaza in the past two days.
The Islamist group has neither confirmed nor denied involvement in the disappearance of the students as they hitchhiked near a Jewish settlement on June 12 nor in the cross-border rocket salvoes from Gaza.