A senior IDF official told reporters Sunday afternoon that in the army’s estimation, the three kidnapped teenagers taken Thursday night by still-unidentified captors are still alive, and are being held somewhere in the Judean Hills, according to a report by Israel National News.
“We are not acting blindly and without guidance,” the official said. “The IDF is thoroughly familiar with Hamas’ infrastructure in Hebron. Those involved in the kidnappings were prisoners in Israeli institutions and were released,” which gave Israeli authorities insights and information on their terror activities.
So far, no authenticated source has taken responsibility for the kidnappings. Flyers that were circulated in Hevron on Friday claiming responsibility in the name of an unknown local terror group were thought not to be authentic.
Earlier Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pegged Hamas as being behind the kidnappings of Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Sha’ar and Naftali Frenkel, the three teens who were apparently snatched or otherwise enticed to enter a vehicle as they were hitchhiking in Gush Etzion Thursday night. Hamas has denied the allegations.
Speaking to reporters, the IDF official said that soldiers had surrounded and closed off several villages in the Hevron area. There is currently a general closure in effect for the entire Hevron area. In addition, the IDF has set up roadblocks and is checking cars thoroughly.
“Hamas is facing a tough situation in Judea and Samaria,” the official said. “We were able to foil 30 kidnapping attempts in the past year and a half. Most of those planned kidnappings were aimed at soldiers. Unfortunately, this time our prevention efforts were not successful.”
UPDATE: A breaking news report has indicated that the vehicle that was apparently used for the abduction has been found. The cell phone of one the kidnapped teenagers has been recovered, as well as other personal items belonging to the boys.
We encourage everyone to pray on behalf of the captured boys. Their Hebrew names are:
Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah (Naftali Frankel, 16)
Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim (Gilad Sha’ar, 16)
Eyal ben Iris Teshurah (Eyal Yifrah, 19)
Source: Israel National News