Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Frenkel, 16, and Gil-Ad Shaer, 16, went missing near Hebron on June 12; blaming Hamas, Israel had spent past 18 days in extensive search of West Bank.
IDF troops on Monday located the bodies of the three Israeli teens who went missing on June 12 while hitchhiking in the Hebron area of the West Bank.
The bodies of Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Frenkel, 16, and Gil-Ad Shaer, 16, were found in the Hebron region of the West Bank, not far from where they were believed to have been abducted.
Shortly before the announcement that the bodies had been found, the IDF said it was searching intensively in the area of Beit Kahil, north of Hebron.
From left: Eyal Yifrach, Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel (Photo: Shaul Golan)
The Israeli government had mobilized quickly on multiple fronts to locate the three boys, launching a massive social media drive using the hashtag #BringBackOurBoys, and enlisting international support.
IDF troops search for boys (Photo: AFP)
- Israel rallies for kidnapped teens
- Israel names two prime suspects in teens' abduction
- We trust the IDF but we are not naive, say abducted teens' mothers
Even Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the abduction and demanded the boys' return.
Meanwhile, the IDF embarked on exhaustive searches of the West Bank, arresting dozens of Hamas operatives and ransacking the organizations offices as part of what it called Operation Brother's Keeper.
Prayers at the Western Wall for the missing boys
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had blamed the Islamist group almost from the moment the three boys went missing, and several days ago Israel released the names of two suspects in the kidnapping, both allied to Hamas.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a situation assessment of the search for the boys (Photo: Haim Tzach, GPO)
Rachel Frenkel addresses the UN Human Rights Council (Photo: Lior Zilberstein)