• Meyer Grunberg

3 Israeli Teenagers Kidnapped, 2014

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: June 12th, 2014 😔

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBVvwqIlpQK/

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3 Israeli teenagers named Eyal Yifrach z"l, Gilad Shaar z"l, and Naftali Fraenkel z"l are hitchhiking at a bus stop near the settlement of Alon Shvut in the Gush Etzion. Later that day, Gilad Shaer calls the emergency hotline to report in a whispered message "They kidnapped me" with additional recording of Arabic shouting and volleys of automatic gunfire in the background before the call is lost. [z"l = may their memory be blessed]

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What ensued was Operation Brother's Keeper (מבצע שובו אחים) in search of the three boys. For the following 11 days, the IDF arrested about 350 Palestinians including virtually all of the Hamas West Bank leadership. After 2 weeks, 3 members of Hamas were announced as key suspects although the terrorist group denied any responsibility at the time.

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On June 30th, after 3 weeks of intense searches and a nation on edge, the bodies of the 3 teenagers were found bound and buried in a field north of Hebron. Autopsies revealed that Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali had been murdered and buried soon after they'd been abducted.

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Since Hamas operatives in the West Bank had been given directives for the kidnappings from Gaza and rockets began raining down on Israel, the IDF engaged the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on July 8th, 2014 in Operation Protective Edge (מבצע צוק איתן). Thus unleashing a 7 week struggle and one of the deadliest between Israel and Palestinians in decades.

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Text Source:

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/operation-protective-edge-kidnappings

Image Source:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-funded-kidnapping-of-3-boys-says-ringleader/

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