Israel Vows to Take 'Action' for Deaths of Kidnapped Teens

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Following the discovery of the bodies of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers in the West Bank, Israel convened an emergency security cabinet meeting to discuss possible reactions. Here's what you need to know:

First, the Israeli right immediately called for a response.

As the meeting ended, a number of Israeli leaders came out forcefully. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu placed the blame squarely at the feet of the terrorist group Hamas, which governs Gaza and has recently entered into a reconciliation agreement with Fatah in the West Bank.

CBS completed the quote:

Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay," he said in a statement, adding the teenagers "were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by human animals."

Even the dovish-by-comparison Israeli President Shimon Peres had some ominous words:

Alongside the heavy mourning, we will remain determined to punish the villainous terrorists with a firm hand. Our war on terror will only grow, and will not be weakened, such that this murderous terror will not dare raise its head.”

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri responded to the specter of Israeli action:

[Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu should know that his threats don’t scare Hamas. If he wages war on the Gaza Strip, the gates of hell will be opened.”

The ramifications of the kidnapping and murders will absolutely have ramifications on the domestic front. Having recently blessing the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation, the United States will also be pressured to respond because one of the murdered teenagers, Naftali Frankel, was a dual Israeli-American citizen.

The first word came from the State Department:

One representative on the American Jewish right did not take too kindly to that: 

 The White House has also weighed in:

We obviously condemn in the strongest possible terms violence that takes the lives of innocent civilians."

In the meantime, condolences have come in from around the world. French President Francois Hollande condemned the murders as a "cowardly assassination." 


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.