On June 12, 2014, Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frankel, Israeli teenagers, two of them minors, were abducted and murdered in the West Bank. Their bodies were found on June 30, after an extensive IDF operation. This is a blatant and unequivocal violation of human rights.
As was the case with the Gilad Shalit kidnapping, many NGOs that claim a human rights mandate and comment frequently on the Arab-Israeli conflict have been silent. Most of the NGOs that have released statements have created an artificial balance by also criticizing Israel and/or blaming Israel for the kidnapping.
The following is a list of statements, made in press releases or social media, by NGOs and their officials.  Official statements by country and international organizations follow.

Table of Contents

Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch
Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI)
Coalition of Women for Peace
Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council
Addameer and Human Rights Association
Israeli Social TV
Physicians for Human Rights
Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)
Breaking the Silence
Rabbis for Human Rights
Jewish Voice for Peace
+972 Magazine
Electronic Intifada
World Council of Churches
J Street
States and International Organizations


Amnesty International

Statement: June 17, 2014

Amnesty International calls for the immediate and unconditional release of three Israeli teenagers abducted in the occupied West Bank on the evening of 12 June 2014. Additionally, Amnesty International calls on the Israeli authorities to cease all measures amounting to collective punishment which have been imposed on the Palestinian population in the West Bank and elsewhere since the abduction.

The following comments were made by Amnesty officials in social media.

Sunjeev Bery, Advocacy Director for Middle East North Africa issues at Amnesty International USA

3 Israeli teenagers are reported missing in the #WestBank, so #Israel launches airstrikes in #Gaza??  (tweet; June 16, 2014)

Kristyan Benedict, crisis response manager for Amnesty International UK

Amnesty calls for abducted Israeli teens to be released & Israel to cease collective punishment of Palestinians (will post link when live) (tweet; June 17, 2014)

Israel’s new round of collective punishment comes after years of war crimes. Abbas not joining ICC makes things worse (tweet; June 18, 2014)

Israel: Collective Punishment will not bring the justice that murdered teens deserve (statement; July 1, 2014)

The murder of three abducted Israeli teens deserves justice, something ill-served by the Israeli authorities’ actions overnight and their ongoing practices that amount to collective punishment of Palestinians in the West Bank, which are blatant violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, Amnesty International said.

…“Nothing can justify these abductions and murders, which we again condemn. Those responsible must be brought to justice,” said Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International.

“But justice will not be served by Israel seeking revenge by imposing collective punishment, or committing other violations of Palestinians’ rights. Rather, the Israeli authorities must conduct a full, thorough and impartial investigation that leads to the prosecution of those suspected of being responsible in fair trials.”

…The escalation of Israel’s military response comes amid continued practices which amount to collective punishment against civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the unlawful policy of settling civilians in the occupied West Bank.

These include arbitrary arrests and detention – with at least 364 Palestinian currently under administrative detention, the highest number in years – as well as increased number of checkpoint closures and arbitrary restrictions on Palestinians’ right to freedom of movement.

Meanwhile, Israeli settlers have attacked Palestinians in the Hebron and Bethlehem areas, with a nine-year-old girl reportedly injured after a settler ran her over with his car. Settlers have set up three new outposts in the occupied West Bank since the Israeli teens’ bodies were found.

Human Rights Watch

Statement: June 16, 2014

Any Palestinian armed groups unlawfully holding three Israeli teenagers should release them immediately and unconditionally. Israeli forces searching for the three should respect the laws of war with respect to the Palestinian population in the occupied territory and not carry out mass, arbitrary arrests.

Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch

  • Attending school at illegal settlement doesn’t legitimize apparent kidnapping of #Israel teens. They should be freed (tweet; June 14, 2014)
  • Kidnapping 3 Israeli boys is wrong. So is killing 2 Palest’n boys posing no imminent threat. Join me to condemn both? (tweet; June 15, 2014)
  • 3 abducted #Israel boys should be release “immidiately & unconditionally,” but no excuse for arbitrary arrests (tweet; June 16, 2014)
  • Kidnapping is war crime under the 4th Geneva Conv’n but #Israel rejects its West Bank application to protect settlements (tweet; June 16, 2014)
  • Israel partisans ignore this condemnation of 3 boys’ kidnapping (321 RTs) bec it also condemns killing 2 Palst’n boys (June 16, 2014)
  •  Great way to build rule of law: #Israel punishes families of accused kidnap-murderers w/o even trying the accused. (tweet; June 30,2014)

Israel/Palestine: Killings of Three Abducted Youth (July 1, 2014)

The killing of three abducted Israeli teenagers is a deplorable act and would amount to a war crime if committed by an armed group, Human Rights Watch said today….

“Abducting and killing civilians is always an unjustifiable crime,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “It’s appalling that the victims in this case included children.”

…Unnecessarily damaging the homes of the suspects’ families who are not alleged to have played any role in the murders would be collective punishment, Human Rights Watch said. Doing so before any suspect had even been charged, let alone tried, would show a disregard for basic due process rights.

Human Rights Watch is also investigating the Israeli military’s operations in the West Bank after June 12, which included Israeli forces’ arrests of hundreds of Palestinians, raids and property damage, severe restrictions on freedom of movement, widespread use of administrative detention, and fatal shootings of at least four Palestinians.

“The murder of three teenagers is horrifying, but it can’t justify abuses by Israeli forces,” Whitson said. “Israel’s military should respond to these awful killings in accordance with its international legal obligations.”

Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI)

[Funded by: the Netherlands (direct and indirect funding, via Cordaid, Haella, ICCO, SIVMO), Norway, The Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Finland (via Kios), UK (via the Sigrid Rausing Trust), Ireland (via Trocaire), the United Nations Voluntary Funds for Victims of Torture, and others.]

kidnapping and interrogation methods (June 15, 2014)

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel is deeply concerned and, like so many others in our society, hopes that the three kidnapped teenage Yeshiva Students are well and we deeply hope that they will be safely returned to their families. At the same time, we demand that the abductors  treat the boys humanely and remind them  that in any conflict the intentional targeting of civilians is prohibited and that they must release the three immediately.

Similarly PCATI calls on Israel’s security forces, the army and that the Israel Security Agency not resort to using torture and ill treatment or to collective punishment in the course of its investigations and interrogations. Both sides are obligated to refrain from causing harm to civilians and must respect human rights and reach a peaceful conclusion to this crisis.

Moderate Physical Pressure, Just another way to say torture! (June 19, 2014)

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel warns against granting, as reported, permission to interrogators in the current kidnapping affair to use “moderate physical pressure” under the so called “ticking bomb” procedure against Palestinian detainees. To do so would be a clear violation of the 1999 High Court decision on torture.

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel calls on the Attorney General to clearly articulate to all security officials that there is no allowance to provide for pre-approval of torture and that torture and ill treatment are absolutely prohibited.

When security sources report on over 250 Palestinian detainees, we note that even concern for the fate of the missing boys cannot serve to justify sweeping violations of the law and of human rights principles. Moreover, it is clear in this security announcement that dozens of detainees will be declared “ticking bombs” and that they will not be afforded even the most basic right of meeting an attorney. It is clear that the Israeli authorities are engaged in collective punishment against Palestinians.

Even in difficult times like now, security forces must act in accordance with the law.

Coalition of Women for Peace

[Funded by: European Commission, Germany (via the Rosa Luxemberg Foundation, Bread for the World, and Medico International), the Netherlands (via Oxfam Novib, ICCO and SIVMO), Sweden (via Diakonia), Switzerland, Ireland (via Trocaire), Belgium (via Broederlijk Delen), and others.]

Facebook (June 15)

Advertising an event for Palestinian hunger strikers:

“ממש תיכף בכיכר השעון- בואו!‪

Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council

PHROC represents Addameer, Aldameer, Al-Haq, Al Mezan, BADIL, DCI-P, Ensan, Hurryyat, JCLAC, Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies, Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling, and PCHR. [Member groups funded by various European governments].

PHROC Condemns Collective Punishment of Palestinians in Response to the Disappearance of Three Israeli Settlers

17 June 2014, occupied Ramallah – The recent wave of arrests, attacks, killings and total closure of large parts of the West Bank following the disappearance of three Israeli settlers is a clear form of collective punishment against the Palestinian people. Since the disappearance of the three settlers on Thursday 12 June…

Addameer and Human Rights Association

[Addameer is funded by the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands) and the UK (via the Sigrid Rausing Trust)]

ICRC ‘Neutrality’ Questioned as Israel Imposes Collective Punishment on Palestinians

Occupied Ramallah, 17 June 2014 – Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association is extremely concerned by the lack of intervention on behalf of over 125 Palestinian administrative detainees currently on their 55th day of open hunger strike in Israeli prisons…The complete and unquestioned acceptance of the Israeli narrative and its almost immediate intervention on behalf of three illegal Israeli settlers, is in stark contrast to its complete public silence on behalf of the Palestinian hunger strikers, and calls into serious question the ‘independence’ and ‘neutrality’ of the ICRC.


[Funded by Britian, Belgium (via Broederlijk Delen), The Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Norway, Ireland (via Irish Aid and Trocaire), UK (via the Sigrid Rausing Trust), Netherlands (via Oxfam Novib), Breat Britian (via Oxfam GB), and the Open Society Institute]

Civilians are not a legitimate target (June 17, 2014)

Gisha strongly condemns any action which deliberately targets civilians, whether the firing of rockets towards civilian population centers or the kidnapping of civilians, particularly minors. Civilians are not a legitimate target and must be protected during hostilities. For this reason, harming civilians by restricting the movement of civilians and civilian goods is also prohibited.

אזרחים אינם מטרות לגיטימיות (June 17, 2014)

.ארגון גישה מגנה בחריפות כל פעולה שנועדה לפגוע במכוון באזרחים. הדבר נכון לגבי ירי רקטות לכיוון מרכזי אוכלוסייה, כמו גם לגבי חטיפת אזרחים, לא כל שכן קטינים. אזרחים אינם מטרות לגיטימיות ואסור שיהפכו לחלק ממעגל הלחימה. מאותו טעם אסור גם לפגוע באוכלוסייה אזרחית על ידי הגבלות תנועה של אנשים ושל סחורות.

לאחר חטיפת שלושת הצעירים, ובעקבות ירי הרקטות, הורה שר הביטחון, משה יעלון, לצמצם עוד יותר את התנועה במעברים שבין ישראל לרצועת עזה. מכיוון שהמעברים לא פעלו בשישי-שבת, כמדי סוף שבוע, היום, יום שלישי, הוא היום החמישי שבו המעברים סגורים כמעט כליל: התנועה במעבר ארז מתאפשרת רק לחולים ולזרים שיוצאים מעזה, ומעבר כרם שלום פתוח רק להכנסת דלקים. צמחי תבלין שנועדו לייצוא לארה”ב ביום ראשון נותרו במחסן, קבוצת ילדים שאמורה היתה לצאת לקייטנה של מוזיקה ברמאללה נותרה בבית, סוחרים ומעט העומדים בקריטריונים הישראליים המחמירים שהמעבר שלהם אושר, לא יכולים לנוע, כמו גם כל הסחורות החיוניות, שתושבי הרצועה תלויים לחלוטין בישראל כדי שיוכלו לייבאן.

זאת הפעם השמינית מאז מבצע עמוד ענן, מנובמבר 2012, שבה המעברים לרצועה נסגרים בעקבות הסלמה ביטחונית, גם כאשר לא נראה או נטען קשר בין ההחלטה לבין איום ביטחוני על המעברים עצמם. סגירת המעברים שלא כמענה לצורך ביטחוני קונקרטי פירושה פגיעה מכוונת באזרחים ומנוגדת לחוק הבינלאומי. 1.7 מיליון תושבי הרצועה אינם יעד לגיטימי לפגיעה, ואינם צריכים לשלם את מחירן של פעולות שלא הם ביצעו ושעליהן לא היתה להם כל שליטה

Israeli Social TV/ NIF

[Funded by the Netherlands (via Cordaid), UK (via the Sigrid Rausing Trust), EU (via EMHRF), France (via CCFD), American Friends Service Committee, Foundation for Middle East Peace, and the New Israel Fund]

Social Order [ENG] 17-6-2014

Jeremy Elster is a… New Israel Fund/SHATIL Social Justice Fellow working as the International Communications Coordinator for Israel Social TV (ISTV)”

“We open this edition with a few words on the kidnapping of three Israeli Yeshiva students. Denying freedom to children is a terrible act, as is involving children in armed conflict. There is such a broad consensus on this that Israel and 190 other countries have signed the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. Despite some calls by Israelis to seek UN assistance in releasing the students, we suggest Israel also look inward at its own treatment of Palestinian minors in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. For example, in 2013 alone, 350 minors from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan were arrested. To these families, whose children are often taken from their beds at night, with no explanation, the experience is similar. Israel is creating the conditions for a terrible reality and cannot wash its hands fully of the consequences. No matter how you look at it, there is no justification for kidnapping children and we hope for their speedy and safe return to their grieving, sleepless families.”

“The events of the last few days have shown us that unfortunately this public action by Breaking the Silence [a reading of “testimonies” alleging Israeli wrongdoing] will probably not be their last.”

Physicians for Human Rights

[Funded by the European Union, Germany (via Medico International and EED), UNHRC, Sweden (via Diakonia), Switzerland (via HEKS-EPER), and UNHCR]

Hebrew statement; not dated

ארגון רופאים לזכויות אדם, על חבריו וחברותיו שותף לדאגתן וחרדתן של משפחות שלושת החטופים ואנו תקווה כי ימצאו בריאים ושלמים בהקדם. אנו רואים בחוטפיהם אחראים לשלומם ולשחרורם. לרשויות ישראל אנו קוראים שלא לעשות שימוש בפעולתם כדי להצדיק המשך הפרות זכויות האדם והכיבוש.

כאנשי ונשות רפואה אנו חרדים מהמשך האלימות כאשר ברור לנו כי רק מנהיגות נחרצת ואמיצה – ישראלית ופלסטינית – יכולה להביא אותנו לעתיד שבו חייהם ושלומם של כל בני ובנות האדם, פלסטינים וישראלים, לא יהיו עוד למקח וממכר במלחמה מתמשכת.

Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)

[Funded by the United States (via the State Department’s MEPI program), European Union, Sweden (via Diakonia), UK (via Christian Aid), Norway, Oxfam, Germany (via EED), and the NDC (currently the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat; joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands)]

Facebook(June 16)

We would like to express our deepest hope that the 3 kidnapped Israeli teenagers will return home safely, and that the Palestinian child wounded by the IAF will recover.

We hope that human life and human rights will not fall victim to political strategies and military tactics, but will rather be their central goal.

Facebook (June 30, 2014)

ACRI shares the pain of all of Israel, and especially the Frankel, Shaar and Yifrah families, on the deaths of their children. We abhor the deliberate targeting of innocent lives, a crime by all standards of human morality. We must remember the sanctity of human life, especially at this difficult time. We call on the IDF to take action to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice. At the same time we call for restraint in the exercise of punitive house demolitions and collective punishments – actions that are both morally unacceptable and unhelpful in locating those responsible. We ask the police and security forces to act decisively to prevent reprisals and forestall any additional violence.

Breaking the Silence

[Funded by the European Union, Spain (via AECID), the Netherlands (via ICCO), Belgium (via Broederlijk Delen), UK (via Christian Aid), Denmark (via DanChurchAid), Germany (via Medico International), Norway, the Open Society Institute and the New Israel Fund)]

Facebook status and tweet – June 15

Hoping and wishing for the safe return of the kidnapped teens and may we all get to see peace in our time

Facebook (June 19, 2014)

Breaking the Silence condemns all attacks against civilians, Israelis or Palestinians, and we hope to see the three kidnapped youth return to their homes safely.

We support the endeavor to return the kidnapped teenagers, but that does not prevent us from discussing the price paid for these operations by the residents of the Occupied Territories as well as by Israeli citizens.

We refuse to acquiesce to the silence imposed upon all of us regarding Israel’s harsh policy of collective punishment, which government officials have already admitted is not related solely to the investigation charged with returning the kidnapped youth.

We know that the only way to change this reality, so there will be no more casualties on either side, is to end the occupation.

Facebook (June 30, 2014)

We strongly condemn the murder of the three Israeli youth Naftali, Gilad, and Eyal, and join in the unimaginable sorrow of their families. We all bow our heads in mourning for the victims from both sides in the past weeks, in hope for an end to this cycle of bloodshed and occupation.

Rabbi For Human Rights

[Funded by the European Commission, Spain, Church of Sweden, Norwegian Church, Germany (via MISEREOR), the Netherlands (via Kerk in Actie), NDC (currently the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat; joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), the Social Justice Fund, and the New Israel Fund]

Statement; June 14, 2014

Rabbis for Human Rights prays for the peaceful return of the three Jewish-Israeli students apparently kidnapped in the West Bank. Our thoughts are with them and their families.

Statement; July 1, 2014

With bleeding and grieving hearts, with shock and anguish, we face the bitter news of the murder of Naftali Frenkel, Eyal Yifrach and Gilad Sha’ar, z”l. We are devastated and furious and oh so eager for revenge.

May the memory of the slain be a blessing for their families and dear ones. May God comfort them and give them the emotional and spiritual strength to carry the burden of their grief. May the love and solidarity bestowed upon them still be theirs in the trying days ahead.

At these trying moments may we always remember we are commanded to pursue life, peace and justice, to repair the world, the kingdom of God.

May He who makes peace on high grant us and our enemies the strength and the faith and the wisdom to come together to do His will with all our hearts. May joy return to to our land, and rejoicing to our city, may iniquity shut its mouth and the rule of tyranny be abolished from the earth. Amen.


[Funded by the European Union, Norway, Germany (via EED), Ireland (via Trocaire), UK, Sweden (via Diakonia), the Netherlands (via ICCO), the NDC (currently the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat; joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), UNDP, and the Ford Foundation]

Hebrew press release (June 15, 2014)

על המחזיקים בשלושת תלמידי הישיבה לשחררם לאלתר. על כוחות הביטחון להימנע מפגיעה בזכויות האדם ומענישה קולקטיבית

בצלם שותף לחרדה ולדאגה העמוקות לשלומם של שלושת תלמידי הישיבה, שניים מהם קטינים, ולתקווה העזה שישובו בריאים ושלמים לביתם. בצלם חוזר ומצהיר שכל פגיעה מכוונת באזרחים היא אסורה. על המחזיקים בנערים מוטלת החובה לשחררם לאלתר.

לצד המאמצים למיצוי כל כיוון חקירה כדי לאתר את החטופים ולהשיבם בשלום, על רשויות המדינה לנקוט בכל האמצעים כדי להבטיח במקביל את השמירה על זכויות האדם, ויש להימנע מענישה קולקטיבית. כמו כן, על כוחות הביטחון להיערך למניעת אלימות נגד פלסטינים.

English press release (June 15, 2014)

B’Tselem shares the great concern and worry over the fate of the three abducted yeshiva students, two of them minors. B’Tselem also shares the fervent hope that the three teens will be returned safe and sound to their homes. B’Tselem reiterates its position that any deliberate attack against civilians is absolutely prohibited. Those currently holding the teens must release them without delay.

Along with the efforts by the Israeli security forces to exhaust all possible avenues of investigation in order to locate the abducted youths and bring them safely home, the authorities must adopt every possible measure at their disposal to uphold human rights. Israeli authorities must also refrain from meting out collective punishment to the local population. Likewise, the security forces must take whatever steps necessary to prevent any violence directed at Palestinians.

Hebron District and its 680,000 residents under third day of closure: increasing reports of property damage in arrest raids (press release; June 17, 2014)

Preventing Palestinian workers from entering Israel and freezing visits to prisoners = Collective punishment As part of the efforts to locate the three abducted yeshiva students, stringent travel restrictions were imposed on the Palestinian residents of Hebron District. The restrictions went into effect on Saturday (June 14) and were stepped up the next day….B’Tselem calls on the Israeli authorities to refrain from adopting measures which violate human rights and breach international law, and to take only lawful action in the search for the abductees.

Hitching a ride” campaign (July 22, 2014)

On June 22, 2014, B’Tselem initiated a campaign in response to Israel’s military operation to locate the three kidnapped teenagers and weaken the Palestinian terror infrastructure in the West Bank. In it, B’Tselem accuses Israel of “cynically exploiting the deep concern for the abducted teens” to “implement sweeping actions which intensify harm to the human rights of Palestinians.”

Click here to read NGO Monitor’s Analysis of B’Tselem’s Callous and Tastless Campaign on the Kidnapping Operation

B’Tselem strongly condemns the abduction and killing of the three Yeshiva students (June 30, 2014)

B’Tselem strongly condemns the abduction and killing of the three Yeshiva students, Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrah, and offers its condolences to the families. Deliberate targeting of civilians undermines all moral, legal and human principles. The deliberate killing of civilians is defined as a grave breach of international humanitarian law, and cannot be justified, regardless of the circumstances.

The government must refrain from acts of vengeance and security forces must prepare for possible acts of revenge by settlers (June 30, 2014)

B’Tselem renews its call to the Israeli government to refrain from acts of vengeance for the abduction and killing of the three Israeli teens. B’Tselem cautions the security forces to avoid harming the innocent Palestinian population, or abusing the public atmosphere in Israel with the discovery of the bodies, to impose collective punishment, as was done in the past two weeks as part of the searches. The deliberate harming of an entire civilian population as punishment for the actions of individuals is both illegal and immoral. Additionally, the security forces must prepare for possible acts of revenge by settlers

?? ?????? ?????? ????? ??? ??????? ????? ?? ???????? ???? ????? ???? (June 30, 2014)

???? ???? ?????? ??? ?? ?????? ????? ????? ?? ?????? ????? ??????? ????? ?????????? ???????? ??? ???? ?? ???? ?? ??????? ???????? ?????? ?????? ???? ?? ????? ????? ?????? ?????? ??????, ????? ?????? ??????????, ??? ????? ???????? ???????? ?????? ????????. ????? ?????? ?????????? ?????? ????? ?? ?????? ?? ?????? ?????? ??? ?????? ???? ??????. ?????, ?? ????? ??????? ?????? ????? ?? ???????? ???? ?????? ??? ?? ???????.

Jewish Voice for Peace

JVP mourns the deaths of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach (June 30, 2014)

We are opposed to any violence against civilians, which is a violation of international law and an affront to our values. We hope that the punishment of Palestinian society as a whole – itself a violation of international law – will not intensify in place of real justice in the aftermath of this tragedy.

May we honor their memories through our commitment to a just peace

+972 Magazine articles

[Funded by Germany (via the Heinrich Boell Stiftung), the New Israel Fund/Social Justice Fund, Moriah Fund and Rockefeller Brothers Fund]

The Kidnapping: Israelis aren’t the only ones facing national tragedy

Mairav Zonszein (June 15, 2014)

…it is important to remember that Israelis are not the only ones suffering a national tragedy, and that incidents like this do not happen in a vacuum.

The kidnapping is indefensible – but Israel helped provoke it

Larry Derfner, June 15, 2014

The Presbyterian Church USA is voting this week on divesting from Caterpillar, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard because these companies equip the Israeli occupation, and I hope the church votes “yes.”  The kidnapping of the three Israeli boys doesn’t discredit the BDS movement; it’s another harsh reminder of why it must succeed.

Analysis: How Israel taught Hamas that violence is effective

Michael Omer-Man, June 15, 2014

However, if Hamas is indeed behind the kidnapping, and it carries it out with the professionalism, patience and successful strategy that it used with Gilad Schalit, it will in all likelihood lead to direct talks between Hamas and Israel. (Hamas has not explicitly denied being behind the kidnapping, but it did describe accusations that it is responsible as “stupid.”)

Israel actually has a long track record of contact and negotiations with Hamas, a group whom it lobbies the entire world to boycott. Those negotiations and contacts have taken place in the context of a prisoner swap, but are far more regular regarding cease fires and understandings about security protocols.

Reward activism and diplomacy, not violence

Noam Sheizaf, June 16, 2014

As an Israeli I find this kidnapping to be a revolting act. Those teens were targeted not because they were careless enough to hitchhike in the West Bank at night, as some comments today suggested, but because they were Israeli settlers in occupied land and there are those who believe that the only way to defeat Israel is through violence. There will always be such people. But if there is a chance to keep them as a small minority, Israel has done nothing to get there. I know Palestinians who hate and fear Hamas just as we do, but they also know that Israel couldn’t care less about them, while Hamas has delivered real achievements.

West Bank kidnapping: Israel’s crackdown moves beyond Hamas militants

Haggai Matar, June 17, 2014

Someone’s gotta say it: what Israel has been doing in the West Bank over the past several days goes way beyond any attempt at trying to find the kidnapped teens. It is a military and political attack on Hamas intended on serving the government’s agenda, with no connection to the attempts to find the teens, and no clear connection between Hamas and the kidnapping.

Let me clarify: I am sure that the army is making efforts to find the three, and I hope they are found and returned, safe and sound, as soon as possible. But this does not justify the cynical exploitation of the circumstances for other political goals entirely.

After indicting Hamas, Netanyahu declares war on all Palestinians

Samer Badawi, June 17, 2014

Meanwhile, neither the yeshiva students nor the victims of Netanyahu’s virulent politics are any safer. Among the latter is the Israeli public, which seems to have forgotten that their three compatriots went missing in the so-called “Area C” — the 62 percent of the West Bank over which the Palestinian Authority has no authority whatsoever. The lesson, it seems clear, is that military occupation — these days at full, fanatical tilt — can no sooner bring security than protect three Jewish teenagers.

Three Kidnapped Israeli teens found dead in the West Bank (June 30, 2014)

Kidnappings led to the largest military operation in the West Bank since the Second Intifada.

…The Israeli army was surrounding the homes of two of the suspected kidnappers within minutes of the announcement, with troops reportedly preparing to demolish the houses. In recent days, the Israeli government announced a return to its policy of punitive home demolitions.

…Over 500 Palestinians have been arrested and six were killed during the operation thus far. The entire southern West Bank was on lockdown for over a week as troops searched homes, fields, caves and buildings. Restrictions were even placed on the ability of Hebron-area residents to travel abroad, for those who were able to leave their cities and towns.

Electronic Intifada (EI)

[Funding for the Electronic Intifada is not fully transparent, however according to NGO Monitor research, EI has been funded by ICCO (via the Netherlands)]

Electronic Intifada – Ali Abunimah

The following tweets are a representative sample of the many tweets and retweets that Abunimah’s Twitter account features regarding the abduction and security situation.

  • If true 2 settlers disappeared, PA (which does nothing to rescue Palestinians from “IDF”) will do all to find them [link to Ma’an] (tweet; June 13, 2014)
  • Three Israeli settlers missing in occupied West Bank. Occupation forces ransacking villages to find them [link to Haaretz article] (tweet; June 13, 2014)
  • Usually when “teens go missing in West Bank” it is Palestinians kidnapped by “IDF” thugs. (tweet; June 13, 2014)
  • BREAKING: 196 children have been kidnapped and are being held captive in occupied West Bank. Families distressed. [link to DCI-P statement] (tweet; June 13, 2014)
  • #BringBackOurBoys Armed militias have seized almost 200 Palestinian boys some as young as 12.  [link to DCI-P statement] (tweet; June 13, 2014)
  • No one celebrates kidnapping children. What hurts is Israeli children treated as more precious than Palestinian children #BringBackOurBoys (tweet; June 13, 2014)
  • Occupation gangs continue storming Palestinian villages in search for missing settlers [link to Ma’an article] (tweet; June 14, 2014)
  • Apartheid regime announces that Bantustan leader is responsible for safe return of Boers (tweet; June 14, 2014)
  • That Israel uses children to further its violent and expansionist goals must never be an excuse to victimize children themselves. (tweet; June 16, 2014)
  • I abhor violence against any child anywhere by anyone and I abhor Israel’s use of children as settlers in violation of Geneva Convention. (tweet; June 16, 2014)
  • Instead of dealing with the disappearance of the settlers in a rational way, Israel chooses escalation war and collective punishment. Stupid (tweet; June 16, 2014)
  • Israelis demand blood after youths’ bodies found (tweet; June 30, 2014)
  • Israel social media explodes with calls for “Death to the Arabs” after teens’ bodies found (Electronic Intifada tweet , linking to Ali Abunimah article; June 30, 2014)
  • Israeli politician calls Palestinian children “little terrorists,” demands Ramadan be made into “month of darkness” (Electronic Intifada tweet, linking to Ali Abunimah article ; June 30, 2014)

Electronic Intifada – Rana Baker

  • Wonderful wonderful news that three settlers have been kidnapped. Celebrations celebrations. Cheers everybody (zionists excluded)! (tweet; June 13, 2014)
  • Three. Three. Three. Three settlers kidnapped. One. Two. Three. (tweet; June 13, 2014)
  • I find the comparison between Palestinian and Israeli boys very very ridiculous, not to say disgusting altogether (tweet; June 13, 2014)
  • My God. Have we really reached the stage at which the children of the oppressor are equated with the children of the oppressed? (tweet; June 13, 2014)
  • Wow wow wow. I am not sure a 19-year-old is a child even under the liberal international law. Again, 19 in Israel is a soldier (tweet; June 14, 2014)
  • If two 16-year-olds were kidnapped that’s because they were accompanying a 19-year-old army conscript on stolen land (tweet; June 14, 2014)

International media ignore Israel’s abduction of Palestinian teens

Amena Saleem, Electronic Intifada blog (June 17, 2014)

If children and teenagers disappear in the West Bank as a result of the occupation, it should be reported, whether those youngsters are Palestinian or Israeli. But, in the highly selective Western media reporting on Israel’s occupation, Israeli suffering always trumps that of Palestinians.

World Council of Curches (statement; July 1, 2014)

Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit WCC general secretary writes:

On behalf of the World Council of Churches, I again express the sorrow we feel, a sorrow felt across national borders and differences in religion and culture, at the suffering and loss of life in Israel and Palestine. Our heartfelt prayers are with all who are affected by the tragedy that has got the attention of the whole world, and we continue to pray for the establishment of peace with justice for all…

No parent, of any creed or country, be it in Israel or Palestine, or in the neighbouring countries of Syria and Iraq, should have to experience such anguish. And yet the violence continues, with inadequate steps toward the resolution of conflict and the prevention of needless death.

We mourn today the three Israeli teenagers whose bodies were recovered on June 30, Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrah. We pray for their families, all their friends and the extended community that grieves their loss.

We also grieve for those Palestinians who have been killed or wounded as a result of measures taken to find the kidnapped boys, as a consequence of resistance to those measures, as a feature of daily confrontations that haunt Israel and Palestine. Justice must prevail. All acts of violence and terror must be investigated and prosecuted according to law. Collective retribution is not justice, nor will it lead to peace.

In this highly tense situation, we call on all parties to condemn all kinds of violence and to refrain from using it. We urge them to be wise and to find a way towards a restoration of the peace process that has been so badly stalled in recent?months, for the sake of the victims and all who could become victims of an escalation of violence. The fellowship of churches represented by the World Council of Churches continues to work to improve relations and the conditions necessary for?justice and peace.

Meanwhile, we remain in prayer for healing and ultimate reconciliation.


Facebook (June 15, 2014)

Our thoughts are with the families of the missing boys. We hope that they will soon be returned, healthy, to their homes and into the arms of their waiting parents.

Facebook status (June 18, 2014)

Proud of our grantee Tag Meir for bringing Jewish and Muslim leaders together for a mufti-faith prayer vigil for the safe return of the kidnapped teenagers to their families.

Statement of the New Israel Fund RE: Murder of the Three Kidnapped Teenagers (30 June, 2014)

We are devastated to learn of the deaths of the three young Israeli kidnapping victims, Naftali Frankel, Gilad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah. They were murdered by extremists determined to shed innocent blood and to perpetuate conflict.

We join with their families and with everyone mourning these three young men. And we ask that every leader, Israeli and Palestinian, take every step necessary to maintain calm and prevent more loss of life. We owe it to the memories of these young men, and to the countless others who have died in this conflict, to do all we can to bring peace and reconciliation and an end to the bloodshed between our two peoples.

May their memory be a blessing.

J Street

J Street Condemns Kidnapping of Teens as Act of Terrorism (June 16, 2014)

J Street condemns in the strongest terms the kidnapping of three teenagers last week in the occupied West Bank. We further condemn those responsible for this act of terrorism with, as Secretary of State Kerry noted, “many indications pointing to the involvement of Hamas.”

We call for the immediate release of the teenagers.

We are pleased by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s denunciation of the kidnappings and his call on both sides to refrain from violence. We welcome the ongoing cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian security forces in the effort to find the teens and urge both parties to continue their coordination.

The focus now must be on saving the lives of Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel and returning them to their families. Every parent can identify with the suffering and anguish their loved ones are going through at this time and we pray for their safe return as soon as possible.

J Street mourns Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach whose murdered bodies were recovered today in the West Bank (June 30, 2014)

We condemn these brutal killings and express hope that those who carried them out will be brought quickly to justice.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the three boys and with the people of Israel at this moment of profound sadness. Tonight, we join them in the mourners’ call that “He who creates peace in His celestial heights, may He create peace for us and for all Israel.”


States and International Organizations

Canada Condemns Kidnapping of Teens in West Bank

June 14, 2014

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:

“Canada is deeply concerned by reports that three Israeli teenagers may have been kidnapped in the West Bank, and condemns those aiming to instigate conflict.

“We urge the Palestinian security authorities, who have been trained through Canadian and U.S. leadership, to make every effort to investigate this incident and work diligently to ensure the safe return of these children to their families.

“We call for the immediate release of the three Israeli teenagers. Whoever has taken this action must be found and brought to justice.”

U.S. Condemns Kidnapping of Three Israeli Teenagers

June 15

The United States strongly condemns the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers and calls for their immediate release. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families. We hope for their quick and safe return home.  We continue to offer our full support for Israel in its search for the missing teens, and we have encouraged full cooperation between the Israeli and Palestinian security services.  We understand that cooperation is ongoing.

We are still seeking details on the parties responsible for this despicable terrorist act, although many indications point to Hamas’ involvement.  As we gather this information, we reiterate our position that Hamas is a terrorist organization known for its attacks on innocent civilians and which has used kidnapping in the past.


14 June 2014

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General condemns the abduction on 12 June of three Israeli students, including two minors, in the West Bank.  He expresses his solidarity with the families of the abducted and calls for their immediate release.

The Secretary-General again expresses his deep concern about the trend towards violence on the ground and attendant loss of life, including today of a child in Gaza as a result of a recent Israeli airstrike.

He expresses his condolences to the bereaved family.

The Secretary-General urges all to exercise restraint and lend their urgent support for the release and safe return of the three youths.

UN chief condemns abduction of three Israeli youths, urges restraint

15 June 2014

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the abduction of three Israeli students in the West Bank, urging everyone to exercise restraint and to support efforts for the release and safe return of the young people, who include two minors.

European Union statement

June 17, 2014

“We condemn in the strongest terms the abduction of three Israeli students in the West Bank and call for their immediate release and safe return to their families.

Such acts can only undermine international efforts to encourage a resumption of peace negotiations. We are following developments closely and remain in constant contact with our Israeli and Palestinian counterparts.

The EU encourages continued close cooperation between the Israeli and Palestinian security services to ensure the swift release of the abductees.”

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)


Israel and the occupied territories: ICRC calls for release of abducted teenagers

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the three teenagers abducted in the West Bank on 12 June.

“We are very concerned by the fate of the teenagers. International humanitarian law prohibits abduction as well as the taking of hostages,” said Robert Mardini, head of ICRC operations in the Middle East.

“They must be treated humanely, and their lives and dignity protected and respected.”

The ICRC reiterates its readiness to act as a neutral intermediary on a strictly humanitarian basis.