Peres tells families he will press their sons’ cases with Obama

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli President Shimon Peres told the parents of three kidnapped teens that he will discuss their sons’ plight with President Obama.

Peres met with the families of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gil-ad Shaar on Thursday at the President’s Residence.

“I asked to meet you because this is a national event, 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,” Peres told them. “The security forces will do everything to bring the boys home.”

Peres asserted that world leaders must take a strong stand against terror.

“During my conversations with President Obama and the leaders of the U.S.Congress I will 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,” Peres said.

Peres will meet next week with Obama at the White House and will  receive the Congressional Gold Medal in a ceremony scheduled to be attended by administration officials and lawmakers.

Peres spoke with the parents about their children, their hobbies, their friends and family, according to a statement from the president’s office.

“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,” said Ofir Shaar, the father of Gil-ad.

Shaar continued: “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 Gil-ad home safely as soon as possible.”

In a televised statement Thursday evening, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Today we know much more than we did a few days ago, but there is a way ahead of us.”

He added that there “is an amazing unity among Israelis today. We will chase our enemies, and reach them, and do everything in our power to bring our boys back.”

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