Sunday, January 25, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Bodies of missing Israeli teens found in West Bank

Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel

This undated image released by the Israel Defense Forces shows a combination of three photos of Israeli teens Eyal Yifrah, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, a 16-year-old with dual Israeli-American citizenship, who disappeared while hitchhiking home near the West Bank city of Hebron late at night on June 12, 2014 and were never heard from again. The Israeli military found the bodies of the three missing teenagers on Monday, June 30, 2014, just over two weeks after they were abducted in the West Bank, allegedly by Hamas militants. The grisly discovery culminated a feverish search that led to Israel's largest ground operation in the Palestinian territory in nearly a decade and raised fears of renewed fighting with Hamas.(AP Photo/Israel Defense Forces)

By
July 01, 2014 |

JERUSALEM — The Israeli military found the bodies of three missing teenagers on Monday, just over two weeks after they were abducted in the West Bank, allegedly by Hamas militants – a grisly discovery that culminated a feverish search that led to Israel’s largest ground operation in the Palestinian territory in nearly a decade and raised fears of renewed fighting with Hamas.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed tough action as he convened an emergency meeting of his Security Cabinet.

“Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay,” the Israeli leader said in a statement, adding the teenagers “were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by human animals.” In Washington, President Barack Obama urged restraint.

Eyal Yifrah, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, a 16-year-old with dual Israeli-American citizenship, disappeared June 12 while hitchhiking home from the Jewish seminaries where they were studying near the West Bank city of Hebron. Despite the dangers, hitchhiking is common among Israelis traveling in and out of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a military spokesman, said the bodies were found “under a pile of rocks” near the village of Halhul, just north of Hebron.

Binyamin Proper, who was among the civilian volunteers who found the bodies, told Channel 2 TV that a member of the search party “saw something suspicious on the ground, plants that looked out of place, moved them and moved some rocks and then found the bodies. We realized it was them and we called the army.”

Shortly after the abductions, Israel accused Hamas of being responsible and launched a frantic manhunt throughout the West Bank, arresting nearly 400 Hamas militants. Last week, Israel identified two well-known Hamas operatives as the chief suspects. The two men remained on the run late Monday.

The search for the teens captured the nation’s attention. The Israeli media delivered round-the-clock updates, and the mothers of the three teens became high-profile figures as they campaigned for their sons’ return. At one point, the women addressed the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva to draw attention to their plight. Israelis held daily prayer vigils, including mass gatherings attended by tens of thousands of people at the Western Wall, the holiest prayer site in Judaism, and in a downtown square in Tel Aviv.

News of their deaths prompted an outpouring of grief among Israelis. Friends and neighbors rushed to the homes of the families in the Israeli towns of Nof Ayalon and Elad, and the West Bank settlement of Talmon, while supporters lit memorial candles and prayed. Large crowds gathered in Tel Aviv’s central Rabin Square, and at the West Bank junction where the youths were abducted, singing songs and lighting candles shaped in the names of the youths or the Jewish Star of David.

“All of Israel bows its head today,” said President Shimon Peres.

Thousands of Israelis have died in wars and militant attacks over the years, and Israel has grappled with the kidnappings of soldiers by militant groups in the past. But the ages of the victims, and the fact that they were not armed, seemed to strike a raw nerve. With Israeli soldiers ordered not to hitchhike, security officials have long feared that civilians in the West Bank could make easy targets for kidnappers.

Hamas frequently encourages its members to try to kidnap Israelis, believing hostages could be used to win the release of militants detained in Israeli prisons. Tensions had also been high since the shooting deaths in May of two Palestinian teens during a stone-throwing clash with Israeli security forces.

Netanyahu was huddling with his Security Cabinet, a group of senior government ministers, late Monday debating a response. But Israel’s options could be limited.

After a two-week crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank, few major targets remain in the West Bank. Hamas had already been weakened by seven years of pressure by Israel and the forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and Israeli troops seemed to find very little during the latest crackdown.

Israel could turn its attention toward the Gaza Strip, where Hamas is the main power. Israel has already been battling a wave of rocket fire from Gaza that erupted in response to its West Bank operation, and it could step up the intensity of its reprisals.

Israel has not publicly provided much evidence proving Hamas involvement, and it is not clear whether the kidnappers received orders from higher-ups or acted on their own. The group praised the kidnappings, but never claimed responsibility.

In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri warned Israel against any broad offensive. Gaza militants possess thousands of rockets, and would almost certainly unleash heavy barrages at Israel if Israel attacks.

“Netanyahu should know that threats don’t scare Hamas, and if he wages a war on Gaza, the gates of hell will open on him,” he said.

Netanyahu’s spokesman, Mark Regev, said Israel would step up its calls for Abbas to dissolve the unity government he recently formed with the backing of Hamas.

Abbas has condemned the kidnappings, and his forces coordinated closely with Israel during the search for the teens. But he has so far refused Israeli calls to end the unity government, which ended a seven-year rift with Hamas. The Palestinian president called an urgent meeting of the Palestinian leadership on Tuesday to discuss the events, his spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeneh said.

Abdallah Abdallah, an adviser to Abbas, said the Palestinians regretted the loss of life.

“We want peace to be created in this part of the world so no mother or no family will be bereaved for the loss of their beloved ones, Palestinian or Israeli,” he said.

Abbas says his new Cabinet is committed to his political program seeking peace with Israel. Hamas is not part of his government, but has lent its backing from the outside.

The unity deal ostensibly ended seven years of Hamas rule in Gaza. But the militant group remains in firm control of the seaside territory.

In Washington, Obama condemned the killings and sent his “deepest and heartfelt condolences” to the families of the youths. “As a father, I cannot imagine the indescribable pain that the parents of these teenage boys are experiencing,” he said. He also urged “all parties” to refrain from steps that could further destabilize the situation.

Pope Francis, who in May visited the region, shared in the teens’ families “unspeakable pain,” said the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi. In a statement, Lombardi said the “abominable and unacceptable” crime was a grave obstacle to peace and that Francis was praying that God “inspires all thoughts of compassion and peace.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 4 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • JazzAzzJuly 01, 2014 - 8:31 am

    Re: Those Israeli teens being murdered, if I were in charge of Israel, this would cost them no less than 300 Muslim deaths, 100 for each teen in immediate BOMBINGS, maybe time for Israel to test their Nuke arsenal. A good Muslim is a DEAD Muslim>>>>IMO!!!!!!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • patrickJuly 01, 2014 - 11:37 am

    Israel started the bombing yesterday

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • SKJuly 01, 2014 - 11:41 am

    GOOD!!!!! Those Middle Eastern counties just will not learn. Israel would be more that happy to live in peace with its' neighbors, but will harshly reiterate when it is necessary. I do however find that their continued building and expansion of settlements is a huge impediment and needs to stop.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The SugarJarJuly 01, 2014 - 8:09 pm

    That these teens died is shameful. That any children die from violence is shameful and tragic. Israeli forces have, over the past 13 years, killed the equivalent of 1 Palestinian child every 3 days, over 1500 Palestinian children. And after the latest bombings, there will be even more. When we see one side as all "good," " human" and the other as all "bad," "inhuman," or "animalistic," we are wrong. Just like those killing are, maybe worse.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Nursing students take next step in higher education

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

     
    Friend seeks justice for 1982 Vacaville homicide victim

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 12 Comments | Gallery

     
    Solano GOP welcomes address from King niece

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

     
    Biggest Little Car Show returns for 31st year

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Solano Safety Net Summit set in Fairfield downtown

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

    Wine, chocolate pairing comes to downtown Benicia

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Local gas prices dip below $2 a gallon

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Be heart smart all year long

    By Gerald Bourne, MD | From Page: C4

    Kindergarten Readiness Roundup enlightens parents

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Weather for Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

    Crews respond to residential fire

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    CHP seeks witnesses to I-80 crash

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    City seeks input on downtown plan

    By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7, 2 Comments

    Fairfield police log: Jan. 23, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    Suisun City police log: Jan. 23, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

    Privatized housing tenants to feel BAH pinch

    By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

     
    Suisun City police log: Jan. 22, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

    Airman with Fairfield tie completes training

    By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

     
    .

    US / World

    Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    It’s a hoot hanging out with owls at this Tokyo cafe

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2 | Gallery

    Man searching by plane finds body of missing son off Mexico

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Kia recalling nearly 87,000 Fortes because of fire risk

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Elon Musk’s SpaceX drops lawsuit against Air Force

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    California’s public-worker payroll increased post-recession

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Avian flu confirmed in commercial turkey flock in California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Boy, 13, arrested in fatal stabbing near Los Angeles school

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Abortion opponents express renewed hope at SF rally

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    School: Sea otter conceived in wild is 1st born in captivity

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Company seeks rights to names of iconic Grand Canyon lodges

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Expert says King Tut mask can be restored after epoxy used

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Obama to cut short India trip to pay call on Saudi Arabia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    1st attempt to lift fuselage of crashed AirAsia plane fails

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Tens of thousands protest after president resigns in Yemen

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Thousands march against socialist president in Venezuela

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Opinion

    Plea for return of stolen statue

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Not all police are bad

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 10 Comments

    Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 25, 2015

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Sound off for Jan. 25, 2015

    By Daily Republic | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

     
     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: Jan. 25, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: Jan. 25, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    The gift of a new beginning

    By Dalia Adams | From Page: C3, 1 Comment

     
    Mennonite group to build houses in tornado-damaged town

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

    Yearbooks bring Jewish, Catholic groups together

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

     
    Horoscope Jan. 25, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

    My dad can’t get over the bad first impression of my boyfriend

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

     
    .

    Entertainment

    PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

     
    Mariel Hemingway working on memoir and young adult novel

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

    Jonathan Franzen to appear at BookExpo America

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

     
    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

    .

    Sports

    Thompson’s record 3rd quarter leads Warriors past Kings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Belichick on deflated balls: ‘We try to do everything right’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1, 4 Comments | Gallery

    25 years of trying to get it right

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1, 3 Comments | Gallery

     
    Sharapova, Bouchard into quarterfinals at Australian Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    2 Williams sisters, 2 Madisons into 4th round at Aussie Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Hall of Famer Ernie Banks mourned in sports world and beyond

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    AP Interview: Selig says MLB could expand internationally

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Could Super Bowl be Lynch’s finale in Seattle?

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sherman, Seahawks take the trash-talk lead over Patriots

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki’s surgically repaired hip on mend

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Buckeyes celebrate their title at Ohio Stadium

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Carroll, Belichick excelled after failing the first time

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Luck-led Team Carter vs. Romo-lead Team Irvin in Pro Bowl

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    AP Explains: The Pro Bowl, unlike any other All-Star game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Abdullah leads North to 34-13 win over South in Senior Bowl

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    As Brady, Gronk know, pre-Super Bowl injury talk always big

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Upstart wins $400,000 Holy Bull at Gulfstream

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Mischief Clem wins California Cup Derby in photo finish

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    World Cup of Hockey tournament set for 2016

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Hometown report: Bowling

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

    Ashley Wagner wins 3rd US title with record-setting scores

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Weber’s 108.5-mph blast gives him hardest shot at NHL skills

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Jimenez, Mediate share lead in Champions Tour opener

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Grace wins Qatar Masters by 1 stroke

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Matt Kuchar stumbles in, gives away Humana Challenge lead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    For streaking Atlanta Hawks, it’s all about the balance

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Sports on TV for Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B5

     
    This date in sports history for Jan. 25, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    .

    Business

    Anheuser-Busch to buy craft beer company

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Higher standard deduction, other breaks for older taxpayers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

    Booking a trip to the ER on your smartphone? It’s a breeze

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

     
    Recalls this week: cleaners, fitness machines

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Tiny Cokes: Less guilt means more money for makers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    First Look: Apple’s HomeKit could help smarten up your home

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

    .

    Obituaries

    Sheila Margery (Smith) Luxenberg

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics