Rachel Fraenkel condemns revenge killing, offers condolences

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Rachel Fraenkel denounced the revenge killing of a Palestinian teen and offered condolences to the family.

Fraenkel made a public statement Monday outside her home in Nof Ayalon at the end of the shiva period for her son Naftali, one of three Israeli teenagers kidnapped and killed last month.

“Even in the abyss of mourning for Gilad, Eyal and Naftali, it is difficult for me to describe how distressed we are by the outrage committed in Jerusalem – the shedding of innocent blood is against morality, is against the Torah and Judaism, and is against the foundation of the lives of our boys and of all of us in this country,” Fraenkel said.

Muhammad Abu Khdeir, 16, was murdered in the hours after the funeral of Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Shaar, both 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19, apparently in retaliation for the murders. Israeli police have apprehended six suspects in the Palestinian teen’s slaying; three reportedly have confessed.

The Israeli teens were kidnapped June 12 and killed shortly afterward; Israel has accused Hamas terrorists of the slayings. Their bodies were discovered 18 days later in a shallow grave in a field near Hebron.

“Only the murderers of our sons, along with those who sent them and those who helped them and incited them to murder — and not innocent people — will be brought to justice: by the army, the police, and the judiciary; not by vigilantes. No mother or father should ever have to go through what we are going through, and we share the pain of Mohammed’s parents,” Fraenkel said.

Fraenkel said the legacy of the three Israeli teens “is one of love, of humanity, of national unity, and of integrity. Alongside the pain of this terrible act, we take pride in our country’s zeal to investigate, to arrest the criminals and to stop the horror, and we hope that calm will return to the streets of our country.”

Earlier in the day, in a conversation with the grandfather of Gilad Shaar, the father of Muhammad Abu Khdeir said there was no evidence of who killed the Israelis and that it could be Jews.

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