The alleged ringleader of the 2014 Israel kidnappings has told police that he received money for the attack from Hamas operatives in the Gaza Strip, state prosecution says after a gag order on his arrest and investigation is lifted. Hebron resident Hussam Kawasme states that alleged killers Marwan Kawasme – his brother, who was released in 2011 in an prisoner exchange for Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit – and Amer Abu Aysha drove to his house after abducting and killing Yeshiva students Gil-ad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkel, both 16 years old, and Eyal Yifrach, 19. The three then drove to a plot of land in Halhoul purchased by Hussam Kawasme ahead of time, where they buried the bodies of the teenagers.
Artist alexSandro Palombo reimagines characters from Disney films, The Simpsons and Family Guy as Palestinians and Israelis in a series titled ‘Stop Hamas Terrorism’ and ‘Once Upon a time the children in Palestine,’ which he says is inspired by the 2014 Israel kidnappings and alleged use of child soldiers by Hamas. On what he refers to as ‘Disney humor chic’ art:
A powerful series to meditate. An original awareness campaign focused on the devastating problem of terrorism that affects Israel and Palestine and on child soldiers.
The alleged ringleader of the 2014 Israel kidnappings has been arrested in connection with the abduction of 19-year-old Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Fraenkel and Gil-ad Shaar, both 16, from a West Bank hitching post and their subsequent murder. Hussam Kawasme, a 40-year-old resident of the West Bank city of Hebron, is detained while trying to cross the border with Jordan with false documents/ His arrest and investigation will remain secret for close to a month before being revealed to the public in court proceedings over whether punitive demolition of homes belonging to him and other suspects in the case can be carried out.
Netanyahu speaks on the phone with Abbas, for the first time since the abduction, asking Abbas to help bring the incident to a conclusion. Netanyahu places responsibility on Abu Mazen for helping to find the missing boys, since the kidnappers come from and escaped to Palestinian controlled territories.
The terrorists kidnapped innocent Israeli children, while we take care of in our hospitals sick Palestinian children. This is the difference between our humane policies and the murderous terrorists that attack us.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) calls for the immediate release of the abducted Israeli boys. Robert Mardini, head of ICRC operations in the Middle East states:
They must be treated humanely, and their lives and dignity protected and respected.
Amina Abbas, wife of Mahmoud Abbas, undergoes orthopedic surgery in a Tel Aviv hospital the day after the kidnapping, and for her own protection is subsequently placed in a private room heavy guard until her Sunday release. Israeli Knesset member Ayelet Shaked refers to the ironic timing of Abbas’ treatment:
This is precisely the difference between us: there are those who hand out candy when they kidnap children, and there are those who [medically] treat the enemy.
Prime Minister Benajmin Netanyahu says Israel knows ‘for a fact’ that Hamas is responsible for the kidnappings in the West Bank of 19-year-old Eyal Yifrach and Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frankel, both 16. He says the incident shows that international acceptance of the Hamas unity government in the Palestinian territories was a mistake.
Israel warned the international community about the dangers of endorsing the Fatah-Hamas unity pact. The dangers of that pact should now be abundantly clear to all
The Israeli public and government officials express anger at the police for failing to respond to the kidnapped teen’s cry for help in a phone call made during the abduction. Israel Police Inspector General Yohanan Danino says at a press conference:
It is our job to focus on the mission at hand – to find these youths. I heard the criticism and you know me and the Israel Police – we won’t dismiss anything that needs to be examined; we will check everything that happened and that needs to be done in a time and place that is fitting.
Rachel Frankel of Nof Ayalon speaks to the press for the first time since her son’s abduction. In her televised statement, she thanks people in Israel for their prayers, and tells her 16-year-old missing son that she loves him.
Investigators assume three Israelis believed to be victims of kidnapping remain alive. An investigation finds they went missing after getting into a passing car while hitchhiking at a highway junction in the Gush Etzion settlement north of Hebron, where Israeli settlers routinely hitch rides on roads used by Israeli and Palestinian motorists. More than 48 hours after they disappear, Palestinians report Israeli authorities are searching homes in Hebron and surrounding villages and have arrested at least 12 people, but there are no indications they are closer to finding the alleged victims or kidnappers.
Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon after a briefing with senior army officers:
As long as we don’t know otherwise, our working assumption is that that they are alive. We are in the midst of an intelligence and operational effort […] and I hope that this effort will bring us to the missing people in order to rescue them alive.
The Israeli government publicizes the identities of the three missing yeshiva students, believed to be kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists. The names are: Eyal Yifrah, 19, from Elad; Naftali Frenkel, 16, from Nof Ayalon; and Gilad Sha’ar, 16, from Talmon.
A group calling itself the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and Syria Palestine-West Bank’ claims responsibility for the kidnapping of Israeli teenagers Eyal Yifrach, 19, and 16-year-old Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Shaer. ISIS is not known to operate in the West Bank. The leaflet says ISIS operatives carried out the kidnapping in response to the killing of three ISIS members by Israeli forces near Hebron last November and as part of efforts to free Palestinian prisoners in Israel. The Israeli military identified the slain militants as members of a ‘Salafist-Jihadi’ group. A televised statement from Benjamin Netanyahu does not confirm whether authorities suspect ISIS involvement:
Our boys were kidnapped by a terrorist organization, plain and simple
The IDF engages in an intensive search for three high school boys who failed to arrive home or contact their families on 12 June. This morning the military censor lifts the ban on the story, and government officials state that the students are believed to have been kidnapped. Brig. Gen. Motti Almoz, the commander of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit tells the media:
Since the morning, we have been engaged in operational activity designed to find [them] and bring them [back]. Over the past several hours, there has been a very large intelligence effort to try and determine what happened with those youths since they disappeared.
One of the kidnapped teenagers calls the police at around 10:30 PM – at the time of the abduction. The police only inform security forces about the call five hours later, due to their initial belief that the call is a hoax. The teen conveys in a whisper during the call.
We’ve been kidnapped.