Sunday, June 29, 2014

Israel/West Bank: Update--EU Cautions Tel Aviv in Its Search for Three Kidnapped Teens

According to The Jerusalem Post, the European Union (EU) on Saturday (June 28) issued its second condemnation of the June 12 kidnapping of three Israeli teens from a hitchhiking post in Gush Etzion in the West Bank.

The EU also urged Israel to restrain its activities against the Palestinians in the West Bank as it continues to search for the teens.

The EU was initially hesitant to condemn the kidnapping and did so five days after the event, as well as the US, Canada, Great Britain, Spain, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Israel has accused Hamas with abducting the the three teens and targeted the terrorist group as it undergoes a massive search for the teens in the West Bank, specifically in the Hebrón area.

Late Friday night and early Saturday morning (June 27-28), the IDF arrested 18 Palestinians, of which 12 were confirmed as Hamas members.

COMMENT: The IDF has said that it has searched 2,000 West Bank homes during the search for the teens.

In its statement on Saturday (June 28), the EU also commended Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for “his unequivocal condemnation of the abduction and welcomes the cooperation of the Palestinian security services in the search for the abductees.”

On Friday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke by telephone with the parents of Gil-Ad Shaer, 16, Naftali Fraenkel, 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19. “Our working assumption is that the boys are alive, until there is proof to the contrary." 

On Sunday evening, the One Family organization plans to hold a rally in support of the kidnapped teens at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv at 1930 hours. The mothers of the three teens--Rachel Fraenkel, Bat-Galim Shaer and Iris Yifrah--are expected to speak. Well-known Israeli singers Rami Kleinstein, Tzvika Pik, Dudu Fisher and Yonatan Razael will also perform. President-elect Reuven Rivlin will address the audience.