The families of the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers were together for the first time since the tragic disappearance on Wednesday, June 18.
The Families of Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel met at the Kirya, the central offices of the Israel Defense Force. Joining them was the Jewish State’s top officer, Minister of Defense Moshe (Bogey) Ya’alon.
Ya’alon is not one to sugarcoat serious situations. He told the families that they were in for “long hours of uncertainty” as the search continues, ceaselessly, until the boys are found.
But they endured another emotionally devastating blow – and this really is a situation in which it is hard to describe something as worse than what they have already endured. The families listened to the tape recorded call made by one of the boys to a police hotline. The boy was attempting to report their kidnapping. The call was received at approximately 10:30 p.m. Thursday night, June 12.
The boy who made the call allegedly whispered “we’ve been kidnapped.” But then the line was cut off. The police dispatcher, a young woman doing her national service, called back the number and received no answer. She reported what happened to a supervisor, and that person made the call that it must be a prank. Nothing further with the message was done for five hours later, when a parent of one of the boys reported to the police that his son was missing.
Upon hearing the boy’s voice on the recording, some relatives were reportedly overcome and had to leave the room.
Israeli police released information on Wednesday about the numbers and types of calls that police hotlines receive. In this tiny country with around six million residents, the police receive about 10 million calls per year. Each police dispatcher deals with hundreds of calls every night. Around 20 percent of the 10 million annual calls received by the police are prank calls.
How can anyone imagine the emotions experienced by the families upon hearing exactly what someone else heard that Thursday night, someone who was called in a last desperate attempt to prevent or at least curtail his and his friends’ abduction?
The rallies, the prayers, the calls of support continue.
Today, Thursday, June 19, marks a full week they’ve been gone.
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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