Israel and Palestine Tensions Escalating After Teens Killed


Tensions are escalating between Israel and Palestine after reports surfaced on the discovery of three Israeli teens that were killed and buried near the West Party city of Hebron earlier this week. Ishaan Tharoor of The Washington Post reported the names of the teens are Naftali Fraenkel, 16, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19. Fraenkel was reported as holding dual citizenship between Israel and the U.S. All three teens were reported missing the night of June 12 after trying to hitchhike out of Hebron. Since discovery of the teen’s bodies, no one has been held accountable for the teen’s deaths as many await for Israel to respond too… that is, until now!

As tensions began escalating between Israel and Palestine over the three Israeli teens that were killed, a separate report by Terrence McCoy from The Washington Post stated two men had gone missing on the night of June 12. These men were identified as Marwan Qawashmeh and Amer Abu Aisha. According to McCoy, Aisha’s parents had noted Aisha left suddenly after dancing at a wedding, but neither parent had suspected anything. Because the men are reported to have ties to Hamas, the militant Islamist group, and have been missing since the same night the teens were abducted, Israeli officials began a “massive security operation” which had included house searches, arrests and the killing of five Palestinians, including a 15-year-old teenage named Mohammed Dudeen.

Tensions are in-fact escalating over the three teens who were killed, and this is causing increased violence between Israel and Palestine. The New York Times’ Jodi Rudoren and Isabel Kershner reported the body of a Palestinian 16-year-old named Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir, was discovered burned in a Jerusalem forest. According to Rudoren and Kershner, police are investigating if Abu Khdeir’s death is in retaliation for the deaths of the three Israeli teens. Rudoren and Kershner state the political leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshal, had said the organization does not want these matters to escalate, but that another leader in Gaza had said some militants cannot “hold their fire.” This becomes apparent as both Israeli and Palestinian airstrikes had taken place on Thursday which hit parts of Southern Israel and sites where Hamas is associated. In fact, according to Rudoren and Kershner, the Israeli Military has mobilized troops near the Gaza Strip where 30 rockets were reported to have hit homes located near the border town of Sderot, but where no injuries had been reported. Rudoren and Kershner also included the reaction from chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, as saying, “violence will only lead to more violence,” but also stating the entire world should follow-up on why Abu Khdeir was killed in the first place. Erekat was quoted as saying the violence is actually due to the “continuing Israeli occupation.” The report also added a third kidnapping may be possible as Israeli authorities received a call from a girl located near Maalot in Northern Israel. Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesman for the police, was quoted as saying the girl called the police hotline stating she had been abducted, and after that, the phone line went dead.

By Liz Pimentel

Washington Post (Slain Teens)
Washington Post (Men Blamed for Teen Deaths)
New York Times