President Shimon Peres met with the parents of Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shayer and Naftali Frenkel Thursday, embracing the families and listening to their experiences over the past week. The president assured the families that “the whole nation is united and standing by your side and praying with you for the safe return of your boys. The security forces are working day and night in every street and alley of Hebron and leaving no stone unturned in the effort to find your boys.”
”The security forces will do everything to bring the boys home,” Peres added.
Peres also addressed international reaction to the kidnapping, saying, ”The leaders of the world must make their voices heard loud and clear, they must take a strong stance against terror. Terror is a global problem, not just an Israeli one – we must recruit the world.”
Despite the visit and Peres’ strong expression of moral support, the meeting also raised questions that could make for an uncomfortable visit to Washington, D.C. next week. The president demanded the international community condemn the attack and act strongly to help Israel bring the boys home.
Peres also promised to inform US officials about the abduction. Washington, D.C. has apparently experienced a major, city-wide, unreported computer glitch in recent weeks; for that reason, President Barack Obama has remained silent on the crisis.
There is no indication whether Peres will be meeting with State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki, in order to furnish her with the name of Naftali Frenkel, the US citizen who has been held incommunicado for a week.
Lastly, the president added that he would “raise the cry of the people of Israel against terrorism, both in private and in public. We must continue to pressure the terrorists to remove their sources of funding. Just as there were sanctions against Iran we must raise the sanctions against any source of terror. They must be brought to justice. And we must call out, so that the children in countries which foster terrorism know that it is a disaster for them as well.”
Ofir Shaar, the father of Gilad, said, “We thank you, Mr. President, for your involvement on behalf of our sons, Gilad, Naftali and Eyal. Your invitation to us is another example of the genuine support we have felt over the past days from all directions, with no distinction between religion, politics or sector. Your words strengthen us as we stand strong and united in this difficult time that our families find themselves in. The people of Israel are with us. The Jews of the world are with us. We expect the whole world to act to free our boys. We ask of you all to do more and to your positive thoughts, to increase your prayers alongside the actions of the security services who are working night and day to bring back Naftali, Eyal and Gilad home safely as soon as possible.”