Israel Vows Revenge for the Death of Abducted Teenagers

Israel Vows Revenge

Israeli soldiers and civilians discovered the bodies of three teenagers on the West Bank June 29, all of whom had been abducted more than two weeks ago. The abduction of the boys led to one of the biggest military crackdowns by Israeli authorities in the Palestinian region.

The boys were reportedly abducted while hitchhiking home after school and as condolences started pouring in after news of their death, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to take revenge on Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that allegedly behind the killings.

“We found three bodies this evening, and all the signs indicate these are bodies of the three kidnapped teenagers. They were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by human animals…. Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay,” said Netanyahu.

The bodies of the three boys, namely Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer and EYal Yifrach, were retrieved by soldiers and civilian volunteers from a pile of rocks in Hebron, which is a ten-minute drive from where they allegedly disappeared on June 12.

Abducted Teenagers

Three days after the boys were abducted, Israel accused Hamas of the crime and launched massive attacks that led to the arrest of approximately 300 Palestinians. Israel claims all of them are Hamas activists.

Israeli authorities last heard from the teens on June 12 and while they were operating under the assumption that the boys were still alive, as time passed without further correspondence with the abductors, they feared the boys might turn up dead. Immediately after they went missing, friends and families organized rallies for their safe return at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv.

Abducted Teens 2

Right after the abductions, hardliners from Netanyahu’s coalition government called for revenge against Hamas and other militants based in Palestine.

“A crushing military response is critical. We are being tested as a society,” said Knesset Member Yoni Chetboun, a member of the pro-settler Jewish Home party who called for the elimination of "terrorist chiefs."

A Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri responded saying, if Israel started an offensive against the militant group that is based in the Gaza Strip, “the gates of hell would be opened.”

As part of Israel’s crackdown, warplanes carried out a range of airstrikes in Gaza, hitting 34 targets across the strip. According to a military spokesperson, the airstrikes were Israel’s response to a barrage of 18 rockets that were fired into the country earlier in the week.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for an emergency session with top leaders and urged the United States State Department as well as Arab and European countries to control Israel’s response.

Barack Obama referred to the killings as a “senseless act of terror against innocent youth” while stressing that Israel and Palestine should work together to solve the crime and hold back from steps that would further worsen the situation.


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