Wednesday, July 02, 2014

'A day of national mourning'

The Israeli cabinet appears to be finding it difficult to decide how to respond to the murder of the three Israeli teens kidnapped as they hitchhiked home.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Hamas is responsible. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said "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." But Israel knows that if Israel does not retaliate, it will be open day for terrorists to kill Israeli civilians.

An emergency meeting of the cabinet on Monday, shortly after the bodies were discovered, ended without a firm decision. A second meeting was convened last night.

Israel named two Palestinians alleged to have been involved. Both have been missing from their homes since the night of the kidnap. Both have previously been imprisoned for terrorist offences. Others are believed to have been involved with them.

Some 16,000 Israeli soldiers were employed to search for the teens, Gilad Shaar (16), Naftali Frenkel (16) and Gaal Yifrach (19). Early on Monday evening, 18 days after they disappeared, soldiers and some civilians were searching on land near Hebron when one of them noticed a bush. half green and half brown, which appeared to have been uprooted. Underneath was a pile of rocks. He moved the rocks and discovered the bodies. They had apparently been shot in the car shortly after being abducted.

More than 50,000 people, including the president of Israel, Shimon Peres, and the Israeli Prime Minister, attended the funeral of the three youths in Modi'in yesterday.

"Today became a day of national mourning," said Mr Netanyahu. Of the kidnappers, he promised: "We won't stop until we reach every last one of them. We will reach everyone, even if it takes time."

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