Israeli teenagers' funeral: Leaders demand retaliation for deaths

PM Benjamin Netanyahu said the killings exposed the 'chasm between us and our enemies. They sanctify death and we sanctify life. They sanctify cruelty and we sanctify mercy'

elad, israel

Israeli leaders have vowed to exact a “very heavy price” from the militant group Hamas as mourners attended the funeral of three teenagers believed to have been abducted and killed by Palestinian assailants.

The bodies of Naftali Frankel, 16, Gilad Shaer, 16 and Eyal Yifrach, 19, who had disappeared in the occupied West Bank on 12 June after hitchhiking near an Israeli settlement, were interred side by side in a cemetery in Modiin, a short drive from the largely ultra-orthodox community that was home to Mr Yifrach.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the three teenagers at their funeral service as “the pure who will remain young forever”. He said the killings exposed the “chasm between us and our enemies”. He added: “They sanctify death and we sanctify life. They sanctify cruelty and we sanctify mercy.”

Speaking earlier, Mr Yifrach’s father, Uri, described his son as having had “a special love for every person”. He said: “You once said to me: ‘If I am asked for help I can’t refuse, I have to help.’ You were a model to your brothers. You gave strength to so many people.”

Video: Israeli forces clash with Palestinian protesters
Read more: Robert Fisk: It is obscene when either side kills children – not only Palestinians
Bodies of three teens 'abducted by Hamas' found in West Bank
Netanyahu accuses Hamas of kidnapping Israel's three missing boys
Israel searches West Bank for teens feared seized by Palestinian militants

The mood in Israel was charged today and some of the well-wishers who came to the Yifrach family’s six storey building called for a devastating response. Luc Adig, a doctor, said: “They need to react and to act, not just to sit and talk. Three children have been killed and we need to send an answer.” In Jerusalem, a demonstration organised by anti-Arab activists that drew hundreds turned violent. Four people were arrested on suspicion of attacking police and Arab bystanders.

Israel’s cabinet was due to meet for the second time since the discovery of the bodies on Monday night to discuss what steps to take, after differences emerged over the scope of the military response and whether to embark on a major Jewish settlement drive in the West Bank.

 

Yisrael Katz, the hard-line transport minister, was quoted in the media as saying Israel should assassinate leaders of Hamas in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while the Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, called for a military offensive to capture the Hamas-ruled Gaza. Mr Netanyahu, however, is said to be under pressure from the US and Egypt to exercise restraint.

The Defence Minister, Moshe Yaalon, said the three teens were killed “just because they are Jews”. He said leaders and personnel of Hamas, which Israel has blamed in the kidnappings, should “know that we will chase them in every place and deal them a harsh blow”. He added: “They should know that the price they will pay for their actions will be very heavy.”

On Monday night the Israeli airforce bombed 34 sites in Gaza, most of them Hamas targets, military officials said. Palestinian medics said two people were slightly wounded. The military said 18 Palestinian rockets had been launched at Israel over the preceding two days. Yousif Zagha, 20, was killed during an army arrest raid in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank, with the Israeli military saying he had attempted to throw a grenade at troops while Palestinians said he was an innocent bystander.

A Palestinian militant holds his gun near the funeral of Yousef Abu Zagha in Jenin (EPA) A Palestinian militant holds his gun near the funeral of Yousef Abu Zagha in Jenin (EPA)
Since the abductions, Israel has arrested hundreds of Hamas figures in the West Bank and sought to decimate its civilian infrastructure of charities and institutions during that period. It has also pressed the moderate Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to pull out of a national unity pact with Hamas.

On Monday night Israeli troops set off explosives at the family homes of the two Palestinians from Hebron whom Israel’s Shin Bet security agency has named as the boys’ abductors.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales & Customer Service Executive - Call Centre Jobs

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - Covent Garden, central London - £45k - £55k

£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Lancashire - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn