If Israelis had kidnapped and murdered three “Palestinian” teens, there would a strong international outcry, with calls from the U.N. and the U.S. for decisive action to find and punish the perpetrators, along with calls from many quarters for action against Israel itself. In this case, there will be none of that. Instead, there will be numerous calls for Israel to show “restraint” in its response, and whatever form that response may take, it will be excoriated as “disproportionate.”
“Netanyahu vows ‘Hamas will pay’ after bodies of 3 kidnapped Israeli teens found,” FoxNews.com, June 30, 2014:
Isreali Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed revenge against Hamas after three teens kidnapped June 12 in the West Bank — including one with U.S. citizenship — were found dead Monday, just north of Hebron.
“They were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by animals,” Haaretz quoted Netanyahu saying at a hastily arranged security cabinet meeting. “In the name of the whole of Israel, I ask to tell the dear families – to the mothers, the fathers, the grandmothers and the grandfathers, the brothers and sisters – our hearts are bleeding, the whole nation is crying with them.”
The leader’s angry words came hours after the search for Eyal Yifrach, 19; Gilad Shaar, 16; and Naftali Frenkel, also 16, who were snatched while hitchhiking, ended in the West Bank, where Hamas operates. Sources said the bodies were found in a shallow grave in an open field in the West Bank village of Halhul, just north of Hebron.
“Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay,” Netanyahu vowed.
The comments amplified earlier remarks from President Shimon Peres, who said Israel would pursue the killers.
“The entire nation is bowing its head with unbearable sorrow this evening,” Peres said. “Over the past 18 days the nation prayed as one that the fate of our wonderful teenagers would be that they are found alive and well. Now that the bitter news has come, the entire Israeli nation mourns the premature death of our finest youth … Alongside deep sorrow, we will remain resolute to punish the atrocious terrorists. Our war on terrorism will only intensify and will not waver so that this murderous terrorism won’t dare to rear its head.”
The abductions outraged the Jewish state as well as the international community, and several vigils and rallies were held around the U.S. during the intensive hunt. Hundreds of Palestinians took part in the search, dubbed “Brother’s Keeper.”
The three youths disappeared as they were heading home from a West Bank religious school. Israeli officials said at the time that one of the teens called a police emergency line around 10:25 p.m. local time and said: “We’ve been kidnapped.” They were not heard from again.
Frenkel holds dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas criticized the kidnapping, and pledged help in the search but denied there was evidence linking Hamas to the crime. Hamas, which governs the Palestinian territories jointly with the PA, praised the kidnapping without claiming responsibility.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri accused Israel of using the murders as a pretext for aggression.
“Only the Israeli version of the events has been published. Israel is attempting to make way for aggression against us, against the Hamas,” Zuhri said. “We reject all Israeli allegations and threats against us. We are already used to it and will know how to defend ourselves. No Palestinian group, Hamas or any other group, has taken responsibility for the action, and thus the Israeli version can’t be trusted.”
Israeli forces searched more than 1,000 sites, rounding up Hamas and Islamic Jihad suspects as part of the operation. Last week, the Israel Security Agency identified two Hamas operatives from Hebron as key suspects in the kidnappings, Ammar Muhammad Abu Eisha, 33, a locksmith, and Marwan al-Qawasmeh, 29, a barber. Both men allegedly disappeared from their homes on the night of the kidnapping have not been seen since….