JERUSALEM – The three Israeli teenagers found dead after they were abducted in the West Bank were average young men who loved sports and having fun. They went missing on June 12 while hitchhiking home in the West Bank. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused the Hamas militant group of abducting and killing them after their bodies were found buried in a field near Hebron, not far from where they went missing. The bodies are going through forensic identification, and the families have been notified.
Here are some remembrances of the three boys:
NAFTALI FRAENKEL, 16, is a dual Israeli-U.S. citizen from the Israeli community of Nof Ayalon. His grandparents moved to Israel from the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn in 1956. In a speech in front of the U.N. Human Rights Council on June 24, his mother Rachelle made an emotional plea to the world to do more to help find the boys. Rachelle called her son an ordinary teenager who "loves to play guitar and basketball, a good student and a good boy, a combination of serious and fun." Naftali texted his mother the night he went missing, saying he was on his way home.
GILAD SHAAR, 16, is from the West Bank settlement of Talmon. His family described him as an amateur pastry chef who loved to watch movies. Gilad's mother was also in attendance at the U.N. Human Rights Council on June 24.
EYAL YIFRAH, 19, from the town of Elad. Described as loving sports and cooking. In two YouTube videos recently shared by his family, Eyal can be seen performing a song he composed for his cousin's wedding, and singing with a friend just a week before the kidnapping. Eyal's mother was also in attendance at the U.N. Human Rights Council on June 24.