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20 world mayors condemn Israeli youths’ abduction

(JTA) — Twenty mayors from around the world condemned the suspected kidnapping of three Israeli youths in the West Bank.

The condemnations by the mayors of Berlin, Frankfurt, Buenos Aires, Sarajevo, Marseilles, Nice and Entebbe, among other cities, came in a joint statement to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, during a mayors’ conference in Jerusalem.

“We were all saddened and deeply disappointed to learn of the boys’ abduction,” wrote the 20 mayors in Israel to attend the 29th Israel International Mayors Conference in Jerusalem. “Kidnapping, as well as taking hostages, is a violation of international law.”

Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shahar and Naftali Frenkel were last seen on June 12 in the West Bank. This week, Netanyahu said they had been abducted by a terrorist group.

“Israeli suffering has to be understood,” the mayor of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri, told a reporter at the conference. “From afar, it is easy to give advice, but you have to be in Israel to really understand the situation.”

Macri, who himself spent 14 days in captivity during a kidnapping for ransom in 1991, added that abduction “is the most perverse situation you can find yourself in. I do not know if it is worse for the victim or the family.”

Macri was invited to the conference by Claudio Epelman, the Latin-American representative of the World Jewish Congress.

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