You are probably aware that over the weekend, it was confirmed
that Hamas terrorists kidnapped the three Israeli teens who went missing on
Thursday on the way back to school in the West Bank. Since their
abduction, IDF and Israeli security forces have been conducting a widespread
operation to find the three Israelis teens - Eyal Yifrah, 19, Gilad Shaar,
16, and Naftali Frenkel, 16 - and apprehend their Hamas kidnappers.
As Prime Minister Netanyahu has made clear, Israel holds the
Palestinian Authority in general - and President Abbas in particular -
responsible for the kidnapping. The PA cannot talk peace on the one hand, and
ally with terrorist organizations - and all that they represent - on the other.
The US Administration strongly condemned the kidnapping, as have
other friends, and the International Red Cross has called for the immediate and
unconditional release of the three teens. Elected officials and organizations
from a wide spectrum have also expressed solidarity with Israel at this
Polls taken among Israelis have consistently demonstrated
overwhelming support for a rapprochement with the Palestinians, and our actions
on the ground have reinforced this. Indeed, just this weekend the world learned
that Abbas' own wife has reportedly been undergoing treatment at a Tel Aviv
hospital. There are many, many other Palestinians like her.
The picture in Palestinian society and its own attitude toward
peace with Israel is unfortunately, and tragically, vastly different.
For instance, upon hearing of the abduction Palestinians handed out candy in the streets
and posted messages lauding the kidnapping on social media sites. On Friday,
Palestinians initiated a Facebook campaign expressing support for the terrorist
kidnapping. Dozens changed their Facebook profiles, posting pictures of three
fingers meant to represent the abducted teens. Meanwhile, comics featuring
slogans such as #Three_"GiladShalits" and "Hebron_Uprising"
began spreading over the internet - and even appeared in an official PA media organ.
Israel will leave no stone unturned in its efforts to rescue the
boys. We appreciate your solidarity, and encourage you to stay tuned to
official Israeli social media channels for confirmed and accurate information:
You may also avail yourselves of the Consulates outlets (Facebook, Twitter and instagram) as well as my own personal Twitter account.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the boys and their families. We
hope they will be returned safely to their homes soon.
Consul General of Israel to New England