We seek to keep you literally "updated" on movement in terms of truth and justice in the Middle East in general with a particular eye on Palestine. The links below will take you to various articles and websites that offer the perspective of leaders in the religious, NGO, and human rights communities. Additionally, Al-Bushra, ever vigilant, provides links to regular reporting as well as opinion pieces by journalists. The dates given here indicate when the link was posted; the most recent posting is at the top. Check the article itself for the date the information was released by the source.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Pope Francis shares in the pain of the families of the murdered teens

 (Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis shares in the pain of the families of three Israeli teenagers whose bodies were found Monday just over two weeks after they were abducted in the West Bank. Emer McCarthy reports:

Speaking to journalists as news of the discovery made global headlines, the director of the Vatican Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, described the murder of Eyal Yifrah, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16 as “a tragic and unacceptable crime”.

He said : ''The murder of innocent people is always an execrable and unacceptable crime and a serious obstacle on the path to that peace  for which we must continue to tirelessly work and pray. Violence calls more violence and feeds the deadly circle of hatred”.

''Pope Francis shares in the pain of the families affected by this murderous violence and the pain of all those affected by the consequences of hatred, and asks God to inspire in all thoughts of compassion and peace”.

The three boys disappeared earlier this month as they hitch-hiked home. Their bodies were found in the village of Halhul, and an Israeli military operation is reportedly underway to seal off the area.

On Monday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened an emergency meeting of his Security Cabinet due to continue on Tuesday. Israel has identified two well-known Hamas operatives from Hebron as the primary suspects, though the militant Palestinian organization has denied responsibility.  It is not clear whether the kidnappers received orders or acted on their own.

Early Tuesday, Israel carried out an especially intense series of airstrikes in Gaza, saying it had struck 34 targets across the Hamas-controlled territory. There are no reports of casualties so far.

The kidnapping episode has put Netanyahu in a difficult position. With a public enraged over the deaths, the Israeli leader has widespread support to strike Hamas. But after a two-week crackdown on the West Bank he is also facing international calls for restraint.

Tensions had also been high since the shooting deaths in May of two Palestinian teens during a stone-throwing clash with Israeli security forces.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has condemned the kidnappings, and his forces coordinated closely with Israel during the search for the teens. But he has so far refused Israeli calls to terminate the unity government, which ended a seven-year rift with Hamas. He says his new Cabinet remains committed to his political program.

(From archive of Vatican Radio)

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