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New Yorkers light candles in memory of the three teenagers at Union Square
Photo: Tomer Meir
New Yorkers hold solidarity vigil for slain Israeli teenagers
Hundreds gather outside Israeli Consulate in Manhattan, many saying they had come because the felt powerless and wanted to express support.

NEW YORK - Several hundred people waving Israeli flags and expressing grief and solidarity held a vigil in New York on Monday after the bodies of three missing Israeli teenagers were found in the West Bank.

 

 

 

 

The bodies of the teens, who attended a yeshiva in a Jewish settlement, were found in a field near Hebron, a militant stronghold, not far from a road where they were believed to have been abducted while hitchhiking on June 12, security officials said.

 

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

The kidnapping near a settlement in the West Bank appalled Israelis, who rallied behind the youngsters' families in a display of national unity reminiscent of times of war or national crisis in a country with deep political and religious divisions.

 

Earlier on Monday, US President Barack Obama condemned the killings but called on all parties to exercise restraint.

 

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

 

Mourners gathered on a busy Manhattan street outside the Israeli Consulate and then, carrying placards bearing the names of the three yeshiva students, marched to the Isaiah Wall directly across from UN headquarters.

 

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

 

"Our hearts are broken. Our hearts are shattered. And all of the United Nations must speak out," Rabbi Avi Weiss, of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, told the crowd. "The murder of a person is the murder of a person. But the murder of a child is the murder of the world."

 

Many in the crowd said they had come because they felt powerless and wanted to express support publicly for the families.

 

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

 

Several held placards that read: #bringbackourboys - evoking the kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian girls by Boko Haram militants that inspired a social media campaign using the hash tag #bringbackourgirls.

 

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

 

"It's hard being so far away and feeling there is so little I can do," said Ilana Shrier, 25, a commercial real estate agent and Hebrew teacher.

 

Israel has vowed to punish Hamas, the Palestinian group it accuses of abducting and killing the teens - Gil-Ad Shaer and US-Israeli national Naftali Frenkel, both 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19. 

 

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