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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/30/2014 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Prime Minister says Islamist group claiming responsibility will pay high price

The bodies of three Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped in the West Bank earlier this month have been found. The remains of the three youths were found near the town of Halhul, close to where they originally disappeared.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vows that the Islamist militant group Hamas, which it accuses of the abductions, will pay a high price for their actions.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vows that the Islamist militant group Hamas, which it accuses of the abductions, will pay a high price for their actions.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/30/2014 (9 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Israel, kidnapping, Hamas, murder, teenagers


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Shaar, both 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19, were found in an open area near where they disappeared. Fraenkel was a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen. The three will be laid to rest tomorrow.

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli army spokesman, said the bodies were discovered about 5 p.m. Monday by civilian volunteer searchers and Special Forces near the village of Halhul just north of Hebron.

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"They were under a pile of rocks, in an open field," Lerner said. It's not yet known how the victims were killed or how long their bodies had been hidden there.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vows that the Islamist militant group Hamas, which it accuses of the abductions, will pay a high price for their actions.

"Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay." Netanyahu said the victims "were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by wild beasts." Abducted on June 12, the teens were kidnapped as they made their way home from their religious school in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

In the weeks since the abductions, the Israeli military has conducted one of the largest and most aggressive sweeps in the West Bank in ten years. House searches, raids, arrests have ignited new frictions between Israelis and Palestinians, who just three months ago were in the midst of U.S-brokered peace negotiations.

Netanyahu has said that Hamas, the militant Islamist group that rules the Gaza Strip, is behind the kidnappings and killings. Netanyahu also criticized Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's recent move to form a transitional Palestinian unity government backed by Hamas. Both Israel and the United States consider Hamas a terrorist organization.

"There can be no forgiveness for the killers of children and those who sent them," Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement. "Now is the time to act."

Israel released the names of two suspects it said carried out the kidnappings last week. Israel said that both men are known Hamas operatives and that both have been missing since the three Israeli youths disappeared.

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