(PIX11/AP) – The bodies of three teenage boys who were abducted in Israel purportedly by members of the radical Hamas group, have been found, Israeli TV stations are reporting.
According to officials, the Israeli military found the bodies of the dead boys near the village of Halhul, close to the scene of the kidnapping. News of the grim discovery was leaked on condition of anonymity.
On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in response to deaths of kidnapped teens: ‘Hamas will pay.’
One of the boys is 16-year-old Naftali Frankel, an American whose family moved from Flatbush to Israel many years ago. In a video message, the boy’s mother, Racheli Frenkel, expressed her gratitude for the efforts being made to find her son and she called on everyone to continue with their prayers.
About 500 members of the Upper West Side Jewish community held a prayer service Monday for the teens snatched while on their way home from school June 12th. The kidnappings angered the nation, sparking widespread protest and military raids.
Secretary of State John Kerry has condemned the kidnappings. Israeli security forces have arrested at least 80 Palestinians in connection with the case.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asserts that Hamas is responsible. While Hamas has praised the kidnappings, it fell short of claiming responsibility for them.
“Today is a tragic day for all people of good conscience,” said New York City Councilman David Greenfield. “Only barbarians would kidnap and murder innocent children in cold blood. The international community must unite to find the individual terrorists responsible and bring them to justice. More immediately, the Palestinian Authority must immediately withdraw from their coalition with the terrorist organization Hamas that praised these horrific acts.”