​We are fighting terrorism and Hamas will continue to pay a heavy price for abducting Eyal, Gilad and Naftali.

 World mayors call for the immediate release of abducted youths


Copyright: GPO/Haim Zach

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning (Wednesday, 18 June 2014), met with participants in the 29th Israel International Mayors Conference and said at the start of the meeting:

"Last night, the IDF and the ISA put dozens of Hamas terrorists back in prison including some who were released in the framework of the agreement to return Gilad Shalit. I praise the soldiers and commanders – from the IDF, ISA and the Israel Police. They have done, and are doing, excellent work. As soon as the Cabinet made its decision, they successfully carried out this complicated mission in less than a day. We are in the midst of a wide-ranging operation. It will yet include many actions against the terrorists that attack, murder and kidnap Israeli citizens and want to destroy the State of Israel. We are fighting terrorism and Hamas will continue to pay a heavy price for abducting Eyal, Gilad and Naftali, the three youths who were on their way home to their parents."

The conference is sponsored by the Foreign Ministry, the Union of Local Authorities and the American Council for World Jewry. Among the participants this year are – inter alia – the mayors of Berlin, Frankfurt, Buenos Aires, Sarajevo, Marseilles, Nice and Entebbe.

The mayors presented Prime Minister Netanyahu with an open letter condemning the abduction of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frankel and calling for their immediate release.

Following is an excerpt from the letter:

"We, the undersigned mayors from the cities representing diverse communities around the world, call on any and all involved in the disappearance of the three Israeli boys Naftali Frankel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach – to release them immediately, without conditions and safely return them to their families.

We were all saddened and deeply disappointed to learn of the boys’ abduction as kidnapping as well as taking hostages is a violation of the international law.

It is our firm belief that at no time and under no circumstance should children become the victims of such an inhumane and unjust way of action.

As adults, we have a moral responsibility to protect all children and ensure their safety and security.

Again, with that in mind, we call on all involved to immediately release, without conditions and safely return the three boys."