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LIVE BLOG: Search for Israeli teens ends in tragedy
By JPOST.COM STAFF
07/01/2014
Follow all the latest updates on the aftermath of the discovery of the bodies of yeshiva students Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel here.
 
Yeshiva students Gil-Ad Shaer,16, Eyal Yifrah, 19, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16 were kidnapped by terrorists late at night on Thursday June 12 from a hitchhiking point in Gush Etzion. They were found dead over two weeks later on June 30.

Here are the latest updates:

TUESDAY
 

10:20 P.M. The United States confirmed on Tuesday it has strong evidence that Hamas is culpable, if not directly responsible, for the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli youths.

8:41 P.M. Following the funeral of the three slain teenagers, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned the perpetrators of their kidnapping and murder and stressed that Israel would expand its operation against Hamas "as far as need be."

7:14 P.M. President Shimon Peres bid farewell to Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel on Tuesday as the three slain teens were buried in Modi'in.

"We prayed for a miracle, unfortunately a tragedy occurred," Peres said before thousands of mourners, a day after the bodies of the boys were discovered in a field northwest of Hebron.

"We will strike with a strong hand until terror is eradicated at the root," Peres vowed. "Terrorism is a boomerang," the president added, saying that acts of terror such as the kidnapping are directed at Israel, but do more harm to those who carry out the acts.

7:01 P.M. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speaks at the funeral, saying "today has become a day of national mourning. The entire nation is praying for the boys."

6:56 P.M. Chief Rabbi David Lau eulogized the three slain Israeli teenagers at their funeral on Monday evening, commemorating the youths and the unifying power their deaths had on the nation.

6:45 P.M. The fathers of Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel recited the mourners' prayer for the the dead - the Kaddish - at the beginning of the burial ceremony for their sons on Monday evening.

6:37 P.M. The recording of Gil-Ad Shear's emergency call to police saying that he had been kidnapped was released on Tuesday.

At the beginning of the alleged emergency call, a voice can be heard whispering "they kidnapped me." Afterward, voices apparently belonging to the kidnappers are heard saying in Hebrew , "heads down, heads down."

This is followed by unclear loud noises and Hebrew-language radio in the background.

Only part of the emergency call was cleared for publication , while the remainder of the recording remains under the media gag order.

6:15 P.M. The joint funeral for Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrah was delayed by at least 45 minutes due to heavy traffic flowing from individual ceremonies, held ahead of the burial, in the hometowns of three youths.

4:45 P.M. Some 150 people were protesting in Jerusalem under the Bridge of Strings in light of the kidnapping and deaths of three Israeli teenagers.

4:12 P.M. Bat-Galim Shaer eulogized her son Gil-Ad on Monday during a ceremony in their hometown of Talmon ahead of a massive funeral for the three murdered youths. "I sit in your room and I can't accept that our worst nightmare came true," she said. 

4:11 P.M. Rachel Fraenkel, mother of Naftali, thanks the police and the IDF. She says, "you promised you would find them and you did, that is a great kindness."

4:10 P.M. Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon eulogized slain Israeli teen Eyal Yifrah at his funeral ceremony in Elad on Tuesday, saying that the three boys "were murdered just because they were Jewish."

3:25 P.M.
Finance Minister Yiar Lapid eulogized Gil-Ad Shaer during a ceremony in his hometown of Talmon ahead of the joint funeral in Modi'in for the three murdered teenagers.

2:10 P.M. President Shimon Peres's office announced that the president will be attending the funeral of the three murdered teens.

Peres's office said that he is set to deliver a eulogy at the funeral. 

1:45 P.M. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is set to attend the funeral of the three murdered teens  on Tuesday afternoon. 

1:02 P.M. The IDF has the homes of the kidnappers surrounded and is searching them intensively to ensure that no clues have been missed during earlier searches. The army is waiting for a cabinet decision on whether to destroy the homes of the kidnappers. Family members of the kidnappers are being questioned by security forces.

The IDF is focusing its efforts on locating the kidnappers, and sources have expressed hope that they will be found in the near future.

1:00 P.M. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he is "sickened by the news of three Israeli teenagers being found murdered near Hebron."

"Those responsible must be brought to justice," the prime minister tweeted. 

11:20 A.M. Setters build two small fledgling West Bank outposts in response to the murder of the teens. Some 30 to 40 settlers pitch blue tents on a hilltop in the unbuilt E1 area of the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim.

10:47 A.M. Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16 were set to be laid to rest at the Modi'in cemetery at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

Processions will set out from the homes of the three boys in Talmon, Elad and Nof Ayalon at 3:30 p.m.

10:45 A.M. The Abu Kabir Forensics Institute in Tel Aviv completed on Tuesday morning, the identification of the three murdered teens.

Forensics work will continue Tuesday to try to determine the circumstances of the murders. 

10:13 A.M. Finance Minister Yair Lapid on Monday responds  to the discovery of the bodies of the three teens, saying that "Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay a heavy price."

Lapid sent his condolences to the families of the boys and vowed to them "that we will continue to hunt down those responsible for this crime."

10:00 A.M. Meretz chief Zehava Gal-On on Tuesday called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to show restraint in his response to the murder of three Israeli teens.

9:29 A.M. Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon vows to track down the murderers and punish Hamas for the act.

"We see Hamas as responsible for the kidnapping and the murder, and we know how to settle accounts with them," Ya'alon warned.

"We will continue to hunt down the boys' murderers, and we will not rest nor remain silent until we get our hands on them," he vowed.

8:30 A.M.  The Foreign Minister of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed his sorrow following the announcement that the three missing Israelis had been found dead.

"Hearing about the murders has deeply moved me. In these hard times our thoughts are with the victims' families and friends," he said. 

4:45 A.M.
The Israeli Air-force pounded the Gaza strip overnight on Tuesday with 34 targets hit. The airstrike reportedly targeted Hamas and Islamic Jihad assets in the Gaza Strip.

2:45 A.M Several hundred people wave Israeli flags and express grief and solidarity at a vigil in New York on after the bodies of three missing Israeli teenagers were found in the West Bank.

1:50 A.M. A rocket fired from Gaza on Monday night landed in an open field near the Ashkelon coast. Israeli media reported an additional two rockets damaged vehicles and a building in the country's south.

1:45 A.M. IDF forces set off explosives while raiding the home of Ayoub al-Kawasma, who is suspected to have been involved in the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens, reported security sources Monday night.

The sources added that the explosions were set by IDF forces as to infiltrate the house.

1:00 A.M.  The US Secretary of State John Kerry made a statement on Monday night after the discovery of the three missing teens' bodies in the West Bank.

"The news of the murder of these three Israeli teenagers -- Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach -- is simply devastating. We all had so much hope that this story would not end this way," Kerry said.

MONDAY

11:50 P.M.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemns the murders of the three Israeli teenagers, calling them a "heinous act by enemies of peace" that aim to entrench division and distrust and widen the Middle East conflict.

11:45 P.M.
Quartet envoy Tony Blair posted a tweet saying that the abduction and killing of “these three young people was a heinous and wicked thing to do.”

The EU's ambassador to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, also tweeted that he sent condolences to the Israeli government on the “despicable” murders, “with hope that perpetrators are soon arrested.”

And Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans issued a statement saying that the Dutch government heard the news of the murder “ with profound sadness and horror.”

“These boys were in the prime of their lives and have been the victim of a horrific crime,” the statement said. “The government of the Netherlands hopes that their killers will be apprehended soon and brought to justice.”


11:35  P.M. 
US President Barack Obama responded to the deaths of Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrah and Gil-Ad Shaer, sending his condolences to the families of the teenagers and condemning the "senseless act of terror against innocent youth."

11:23 P.M. 
Hundreds of mourners held a candlelight vigil in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Monday night in commemoration of Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel.

10: 49 P.M. Chief Rabbi David Lau: "The entire Jewish people across the globe are shocked by the despicable murders. The boys who were murdered are a sanctification of Gods name. [They were murdered] simply because they were Jews, and join the chain of martyrs and pure ones of our people who have been murdered throughout the painful history of the Jewish people."

10:26 P.M. Security evaluations are that the teenagers were murdered a short time after being kidnapped.

The Shin Bet launched a painstaking and complex process to compile an intelligence puzzle that eventually led to the location of the bodies.

Information was gathered from a variety of sources, including Shin Bet regional coordinators, signal intelligence, desk analysts, and information obtained through the questioning of arrested security suspects.

This led to a gradual elimination of areas where the domestic intelligence agency believed it would find the bodies, until estimations honed in on the area near Halhul.

10:13 P.M. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas appeals to the US and EU countries to intervene with Israel to stop it from “escalating” its security measures against Palestinians in response to the murder of the three Israeli teenagers, a PA official in Ramallah says.

The official says that Abbas and the PA leadership are “deeply concerned” that Israel will take severe measures that can plunge the entire region into violence and bloodshed.

10:11 P.M. In a somber statement released by Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu following the discovery of the bodies of Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrah and Gil-Ad Shaer, he says that "our hearts bleed, the entire nation cries" with the families of the deceased.

"They were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by animals," he says. "Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay."

10:06 P.M. Jewish organizations across the globe condemn Hamas and the Palestinian Authority on Monday evening for the murderers of kidnapped teens Naftali Fraenkel Gil-Ad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach, whose bodies were discovered in a cave in Beit Kahil near Hebron.

10:05 P.M. The US State Department condemns the killing of the three kidnapped Israeli teens.

"The harm that has been done to these teenagers is a tragedy," said State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki at a press briefing.

Psaki said the department continued to urge restraint on both sides "in spite of the tragedy and the enormous pain on the ground as a result."

9: 51 P.M. British PM Cameron: 'This was an appalling and inexcusable act of terror'

9:34 P.M. 
White House reaction: "We condemn in the strongest possible terms violence that takes the lives of innocent civilians, says press secretary Josh Earnest.

9:32 P.M. The Shin Bet is continuing intelligence efforts to track down the two Hamas kidnappers, Marqan Kawasme and Amar Abu Aysha, as well as all those involved in the kidnapping.

9:25 P.M. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman cancels his state visit to the Czech Republic following the discovery of the boys.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni: Our hearts are breaking, we'll continue to hit Hamas hard.

8:57 P.M. Civilian volunteer who first found the bodies tells Channel 10 that "this is a very sad day, but there's also some relief for the country and for the families."

A search team of civilians found one body before alerting security forces, who found the other two.

8:53 P.M. Economy Minister Naftali Bennett: "Child murderers cannot be forgiven. This is a time for actions, not words."

8:50 P.M. President-elect Reuven Rivlin mourned the loss of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers on Monday after security forces announced that their bodies had been found in the West Bank. "What we feared most has tragically happened", said Rivlin.

8:33 P.M. Channel 10 reporting the bodies were identified by their clothes and shoes.

8:30 P.M. BODIES FOUND: Three bodies were found by security forces in a field northwest of Hebron this afternoon. Police forensics officers have been called to the scene to confirm the identities of the bodies. The discovery came after the Shin Bet focused its efforts in the area over the past two days during searches for the three abducted Israeli teens.

Searches in the area were led by the Kfir infantry brigade, the Maglan units and civilian volunteers. Families of the missing teenagers have been notified.

8:20 P.M. An emergency cabinet meeting is set to take place tonight at 9:30 P.M.

7:52 P.M.
Reports surfacing of clashes between Palestinians and security forces near West Bank village of Halhul.

7:50 P.M. Security forces congregate in Halhul junction north of Hebron as they search for the boys.

8:58 A.M.  The IDF is checking to see whether the terrorist killed in Gaza in an Israeli air strike on Sunday night belonged to Hamas, a senior security source said Monday morning. Hamas has announced that the casualty was a member of its military wing.

"We know unequivocally that the terrorist killed in the strike was preparing to fire rockets," the source added.

The security source noted that a Givati infantry unit operating along the Gaza border came under fire on Sunday as well.

Hamas has not been behind recent rocket attacks on southern Israel, but rather, smaller terrorist groups in the Strip, according to military assessments. "[But] we are more interested in who is responsible [for Gaza]," he added.

8:13 A.M. 
Security forces arrested six Palestinian suspects in the West Bank overnight between Sunday and Monday, five them Hamas members.

Five of the suspects were arrested in the Judea region and one in Binyaming.

The arrests were made as part of the intelligence investigation into the location of the three abducted Israeli youths, a senior security source said.

Searches for the abducted youths continue to be focused in north Hebron.

4:55 A.M.
"The United Nations is an important organization which represents the world - it is your responsibility to cry out on behalf of the mothers of the kidnapped boys and call for their immediate release,” President Shimon Peres tells UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York.

SUNDAY

9:00 P.M. Rachel Fraenkel, mother of kidnapped teen Naftali, addresses the rally at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square saying, “We didn’t come to protest, it's a rally of love and togetherness.”

She said back in his room at home, Naftali's driver's education books are still laid out, and that he and the other boys, “have a lot of plans for the summer.”

8:26 P.M. President-elect Reuven Rivlin speaks at 'Bring Back Our Boys' rally at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square, calling for the public's prayers and for Muslim leaders to condemn the kidnappings during Ramadan holiday.

8:15 P.M. Rabin Square fills up for the 'Bring Back Our Boys Campaign' rally/concert in support of the kidnapped teens and their families. Thousands fill the square and hold signs which read, "Bring Back Our Boys" and "Together for their return."

6:30 P.M. The mothers of the three kidnapped teens are set to speak at massive a rally at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday night. Thousands expected to attend rally which looks to unite Israelis from across society in support of the kidnapped victims and their families.

The rally is called "Singing for their return" and is being organized by the Bring Back Our Boys Campaign.
 
2:24 P.M.  Israeli forces operating in the West Bank distribute candy to Palestinians along with a note denouncing Hamas and wishing them an easy Ramadan fast, the Palestinian news agency Ma'an is reporting.

Palestinians reported on Sunday that IDF soldiers in Nablus handed out lollipops which were affixed to a note which read: "Since Hamas is making your lives bitter, here are some sweets."

1:02 P.M.  The parents of the three kidnapped teenagers who were abducted presumably by Palestinian militants 17 days ago visit the spot where they were taken captive near Hebron.

The parents saw the area for the first time since the abductions during a tour with IDF troops who accompanied them to the site. Brig.-Gen. Tamar Yadai, the commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, took the parents to the Tarkumiyah checkpoint and an IDF base, where they thanked the soldiers for their efforts in locating their sons.

11:04 A.M.  Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says at the weekly cabinet meeting that with the weekend publication of the names of the Hamas men suspected of kidnapping Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel, it is clear that if PA President Mahmoud Abbas wants to move the diplomatic process forward, he needs to dissolve his pact with Hamas.

Netanyahu also directs the relevant authorities to weigh the possibilities of outlawing the Islamic Movement's Northern Branch, following Friday's protest in Umm el-Fahm where there were calls to kidnap IDF soldiers.

8:42 A.M.  Asaf Yifrah made an impassioned appeal on behalf of his brother Eyal and Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel when he appeared at a Zionist Federation of Great Britain meeting.

Wednesday night’s event was arranged for London’s Jewish community to support the international efforts to secure the yeshiva students’ release.

Yifrah thanked those present and said theirs and others’ prayers would help the students, who were kidnapped near Hebron, remain strong.

“I am sure they know that we are waiting for them at home and doing everything we can to make sure they will return in good health and soon as possible,” he said, before concluding, “Eyal, I miss you and I am waiting for you to come home.”

The 17-year-old high school student told The Jerusalem Post that he was visiting the UK as he knew that public opinion abroad was “very important.”

8:41 A.M.  Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Sunday that the recent escalation along the Gaza frontier should prompt Israel to consider reoccupying the coastal enclave, Army Radio reported.

"We need to decide if we are going with an alternative that entails fully conquering the Gaza Strip," Liberman told Army Radio. "We saw that a limited military operation only serves to boost Hamas, so the alternative choice is clear."

4:20 A.M. The IAF carries out two airstrikes in Gaza in response to rocket fire in Sderot on Saturday night. The first airstrike targets three underground rocket launchers in central Gaza. The second airstrike targets nine terror sites all over Gaza. All targets were accurately hit, says IDF.

SATURDAY

9:19 P.M. The European Union on Saturday issued its second condemnation on the June 12th kidnapping of three Israeli teens from a hitchhiking post in the Gush Etzion region of the West Bank.

It also urged Israel to restrain its activities against the Palestinians in the West Bank as searches continue for the teens.

9:12 P.M. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Saturday that protesters against Operation Brother's Keeper should be treated like terrorists.

6:13 P.M. The IDF says security forces arrested 18 Palestinians throughout the day on Saturday in continued West Bank operations aiming to retrieve three Israeli teenagers kidnapped over two weeks ago.

2:08 A.M. IAF attacks four terror targets in Gaza in response to earlier rocket fire.

FRIDAY

11:00 P.M.  The Iron Dome anti-rocket battery intercepted two incoming projectiles over the Ashkelon region late Friday.

The Palestinian rocket fire came just hours after an Israel Air Force strike in northern Gaza on Friday killed two Popular Resistance Committees members who were involved in rocket attacks on Israel.

Usama Hasumi and Muhammad Fatiah had in recent weeks taken part in the firing of rockets, and in recent days, planned to carry out "severe terror attacks against residents of the state of Israel," the IDF said in a statement.

"The IDF will continue to act with determination as much as is needed against any element that carry out terrorism against Israel. The Hamas terrorist organization, and all of its branches, is the address, and it is responsible," the army added.

Prior to the interceptions, four Gazan rockets exploded in open areas in the Eshkol region, failing to cause injuries or damages. The IDF is investigating whether a fifth rocket also fell in southern Israel.

5:14 P.M.  The Israel Air Force tracked down and killed two Palestinians believed to be terrorist operatives as they were driving in their car near the Shati refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, The Jerusalem Post's sister publication Ma'ariv Hashavua is reporting on Friday.

The IDF Spokesperson's Unit announced that the two men,  Usama Hasumi and Muhammad Fatiah, were involved in rocket fire at Israel in recent weeks. The IDF said that the two men were plotting a terrorist attack against Israeli civilians.

"We have no intention of permitting any fire on Israel or any attempt to harm our citizens and IDF soldiers," Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said. "We will pursue and harshly strike a blow at anyone who carries out or plans these activities, just as we did today."

"We view Hamas as responsible for what is taking place in the Gaza Strip," the defense minister said. "It should not test our patience and determination. We will continue to act responsibly and carefully in order to enable the citizens of the Gaza-area communities and the south, and all of Israel's citizens everywhere, to continue their normal routine."

3:55 P.M.   Israel Air Force targets terror sites in the Gaza Strip.

3:30 P.M.   Parents of the teens updated on the progress of investigations and continued searches for their sons in a meeting with Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen.

7:12 A.M.  Israeli security forces arrested nine Palestinians in the West Bank overnight on Thursday as efforts continue to locate three Jewish teenagers who were believed to have been kidnapped by Hamas operatives from the Hebron region, Israel Radio reported.

According to Israel Radio, the army combed over 40 sites in the Hebron region. Soldiers operating in Beitunia discovered two handguns. IDF troops also confiscated an explosive device in the village of Aidana.

THURSDAY

8:30 P.M. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said at the Israel Air Force pilots' course graduation ceremony that the IDF is turning over every stone to bring back the missing boys, and will continue to do everything it can to ensure their safe return.

8:30: P.M.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu relates to the naming of the suspects of the three kidnapped Israeli teens during a speech at a graduation ceremony for new pilots on Thursday, saying that now that the names were known, he expects Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas -- whom he again praised for strongly condemning the kidnappings -- to dissolve his pact with Hamas.

8:00 P.M.
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) reveals the identity of two of the main terrorists involved in the kidnapping of three Israeli youths this month.

The intelligence agency names Marwan Quasma, 29, and Amar Abu Eisha, 32, both Hamas men from Hebron, as the two principal suspects behind the kidnapping, adding that both men became wanted as soon as security forces learned of the kidnapping.

"Since then, the Shin Bet and IDF have been carrying out a wide-scale search aimed at capturing the wanted suspects. The first aim is to track down the location of the abducted youths," the Shin Bet stated.

8:00 P.M. Several representative of Arab and Muslim nations called on the UN Security Council to condemn Israel's actions in the West Bank for the second time since the three teens went missing nearly two weeks ago. Israel's ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor responded that "rather than denouncing this appalling attack, the Arab nations have the audacity to stand before you today and criticize Israel."

He said that Arab nations gave the world mostly oppression and aggression, adding that their only innovation was coming to the UN to criticize Israel. Iran and Saudi Arabia "are fighting a proxy war in Syria, but here at the UN, love is in the air," he said.

6:12 P.M. President Shimon Peres says that "Israel did and will do everything in our power to bring home our three kidnapped boys – Naftali, Gilad and Eyal."

Speaking at the US Congress, Peres sys "I met with their parents. They had one request. They asked me to speak here on their behalf. To make their voices heard all over the world to help bring our boys home. To sound a call across the world against terror."

4:00 P.M.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told US Secretary of State John Kerry in Paris on Thursday that the parents of kidnapped teens Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Fraenkel and Gil-Ad Shaer would like to meet with him.

Liberman also thanked Kerry for the US’s “determined” position regarding the gravity with which the US views the kidnappings.

3:30 P.M. Rabbi Haim Druckman, one of the most senior figures in the national-religious community, and other prominent rabbis from across the religious spectrum have called for the kabbalistic Yom Kippur Katan prayer service to be conducted Thursday afternoon - in light of the search for the three abducted boys.

3:10 P.M. As long as the three teens kidnapped earlier this month are not released, Israel should not ease restrictions on Palestinians' movement during the month-long Ramadan holiday, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon says.

"If terrorists find refuge among Palestinians, then Palestinians will pay the price," Danon stated.

Ramadan begins on Saturday, and Danon spoke to senior security officials to try to change the situation before the Muslim holiday.

6: 44 A.M. Security forces arrested ten Palestinian suspects overnight Thursday in the West Bank. During one raid in the village of Samoa in the southern Mount Hebron region, a Hamas member who attempted to flee, and ignored calls by an elite unit that had come to arrest him to stop, was shot and seriously injured. He was taken by the army to hospital.

5:51 A.M. US National Security Advisor Susan Rice said President Obama and the United States were concerned for the three Israeli teenager who were abducted about two weeks ago in Gush Etzion.

"Tonight, all of our hearts are hurting for the 3 Israeli students who were kidnapped in the West Bank, one of whom is also an American," she said on Twitter. "We pray for their safe return & strength for the families in this agonizing vigil."

WEDNESDAY

11:15 P.M. A New York synagogue bought space for an advertisement on a giant digital billboard in Time Square in support of the campaign calling for the safe return of three Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped on June 13.

The ad - which debuted on Tuesday on a billboard screen between Manhattan's 47th and 48th streets - is featured for 15 seconds twice an hour, according to the New York Post.

10:49 P.M. The security cabinet decided that  Israel will continue its widespread operation in the West Bank in search of Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel, and will consider ways to prevent the Palestinian Authority from transferring funds to jailed terrorists.

10:00 P.M.
US President Obama expresses his well wishes for the three kidnapped teens to Shimon Peres on the latter's final presidential visit to the US.

“Our hearts are with the kidnapped teens and the nation of Israel. From the moment the abduction occurred, there has been coordination between the US and Israel. The US will continue to help and to do whatever it can together with the the State of Israel in order to return the kidnapped teens to their homes.”

Peres also updated Obama about Israel’s search for the teenagers.

8:00 P.M. Lawmakers from across the political spectrum, from Meretz to the Bayit Yehudi, showed support for Rachel Fraenkel, Bat-Galim Shaer and Iris Yifrah, the mothers of Naphtali Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah, the three teens who were abducted in Gush Etzion, in the Knesset Wednesday.

6:00 P.M. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said on Wednesday that  infantry divisions and special forces of the IDF continue to carry out missions in the operation to return the three missing teens.

Gantz made the comments at an officers training course in the South.

1:27 P.M. Noam Schalit speaks to visiting European Jewish leaders in Jerusalem saying that Gilad and the entire Schalit family are deeply concerned over the fate of the kidnapped Israeli teenagers.

As a family that has “suffered so much from these terror actions of the Palestinians” the kidnapping is now “our main concern,” Schalit says, adding that he hopes that the families of Naftali Fraenkel, Gil­-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah have their sons returned just as Gilad was.

12:11 P.M. Palestinian Minister of Prisoner Affairs Shawki al-Issa said Wednesday that the end of the two-month hunger strike by dozens of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails marked a victory for the prisoners.

Issa said that the strike had not been stopped completely but merely frozen, Army Radio reported.

He said that some of the hunger-striking prisoners demands had been met. "After the prisoners were victorious in their efforts to defeat the force-feeding bill, the occupation surrendered and began negotiating with the prisoners' representatives."

8:15 A.M. Dozens of Palestinians who remain in administrative detention in Israeli prisoners ended their nearly two-month-long hunger strike before dawn on Wednesday, Army Radio reported.

The move was announced by the Palestinians, who had come to an agreement with the Israel Prison Service which ended the protest. The terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed.

The end of the hunger strike comes just two days after the Knesset delayed a second vote on a bill to allow the forced feeding of prisoners, as per the demand of Yesh Atid and its party leader Finance Minister Yair Lapid.

7:10 A.M.
The IDF arrests 17 Palestinians in overnight West Bank raids as part of the search for the three boys.

TUESDAY


11:03 P.M. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the 2014 Summer Birthright Mega Event on Tuesday saying: “We will not rest until we find those boys and bring them home.”

“We will also find their kidnappers,” he added.

7:41 P.M. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said the IDF is continuing to exert maximum efforts in searches. "We are relying on intelligence, and we believe that we will eventually find the teenagers," he said.

6:45 P.M.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon stated on Tuesday, "We our not scaling back our operations in the West Bank," in response to speculations that the IDF was winding down Operation Brother's Keeper.

"Operations against Hamas began with the arrests of dozens of Hamas members and the closings of Hamas infrastructure and assets, and as time has gone by we are now down to a dozen and in the last few nights, individual arrests."

6:06 P.M. The state is seeking to return 54 Palestinians who were pardoned and released in the framework of the Gilad Schalit deal, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The 54 were among the over 350 Palestinians arrested in recent weeks by the IDF during the ongoing search and rescue operation for the three kidnapped boys.

4:14 P.M. Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Ze'ev Elkin (Likud Beytenu) visits spot in Gush Etzion where three teenage boys were abducted.

"Our job is to change the equation and show Hamas that it is not worth it for them to kidnap. That is why I called to arrest all those released in the deal to bring back [former captive soldier Gilad] Schalit and submitted a bill that would not allow terrorists to be pardoned," Elkin says.

2:30 P.M. Two of the kidnapped teens Fraenkel and Shaer signed a petition last year for the release of jailed Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard, according to Pollard activists.

1:55 P.M.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says he appreciates Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's "important" condemnation of the kidnapping of three Israeli teens.

He adds, however, that Abbas's words are not enough. “If he really means them, and if he is truly committed to peace and fighting terrorism, logic dictates that he dissolve his pact with Hamas.”

12:34 P.M. The mothers of the kidnapped boys attend a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Rachel Fraenkel implores the world to do more to bring back her son Naftali, as well as Gil-Ad and Eyal. "Innocent children should not be used as instruments in a struggle."

8:25 A.M. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair says he is "deeply troubled" by the ongoing events in Israel and the West Bank in a statement released Tuesday morning.

"Israel must act with restraint when operating in populated Palestinian areas – including Gaza – and ensure that civilians are not harmed," he says.

Blair says he is concerned with the deaths of Palestinian civilians and wide-scale arrests in the West Bank, but reiterates his condemnation of the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers and calls for their immediate release.

6:55 A.M.
The IDF arrests four Palestinian terror suspects in the West Bank overnight as efforts to return the missing boys continue. Security forces raid 120 homes in Hebron as part of the operation.

MONDAY

11:50 P.M. UN political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman urges Israel to exercise restraint as it searches for the missing boys, at the Security Council's monthly meeting on the Middle East. He mentioned the rising death toll as a result of operations in the West Bank and warned of escalating violence.

Council members were unable to agree on a unanimous statement to the press condemning the kidnapping. Washington wanted no condemnation of Israel while Jordan demanded a tough rebuke of the Jewish state.

In a statement issued after the meeting, Israel's UN Ambassador Ron Prosor said Israel would not allow Hamas to trample on its citizens, adding that the country was acting in self-defense against terrorism.

10:00 P.M.
Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal denies that his organization had any information about the kidnapping of the teens but he applauds the action to capture who he called the three "soldier settlers."

8:21 P.M. Former Arkansas governor and potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee says that the United States must declare that the kidnapping of three teenagers in Gush Etzion will not be tolerated and work to bring them home.

The kidnapping is "nothing less than an act of anti-Semitic, rabid hatred," he says while visiting the Knesset.

6:20 P.M.  A Senior military source says the IDF is poised to reduce the scope of raids launched on Hamas members and organizations in the West Bank, but will continue large-scale searches for the three abducted Israeli youths.

6:05 P.M. The mothers of the three Israeli teens kidnapped in the West Bank are set to meet with MKs at the Knesset on Wednesday. The women will meet with a group of female MKs led by Bayit Yehudi's Shuli Moalem-Refaeli.

4:27 P.M.
At the Likud faction meeting, Netanyahu says that Israel's top mission remains bringing home the three kidnapped teens.

2:20 P.M. Rachel Fraenkel will fly to Geneva, Switzerland where she will speak at the UN Human Rights Council and call for the release of her son and the two other kidnapped boys.

1:23 P.M. Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon toured the Hebron region on Monday and received updates on searches for three kidnapped Israeli teenagers. During the tour, Ya'alon met with IDF forces engaged in the searches. "What you are doing now is the defense establishment's primary task," he told the soldiers.

12:23 P.M. The Israel Police have told Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein that there is reason to investigate MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) for incitement for her comments on the kidnapping of three teens in the West Bank earlier this month.

7:35 A.M. The IDF arrested 37 Palestinians in overnight West Bank raids as part of Operation Brother's Keeper.

SUNDAY

10:30 P.M. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh says “the youth of the West Bank have restored honor to the intifada - the greatest legacy in history" in his first comments on the military operation to find the boys in the West Bank and the resulting clashes with Palestinians, reports Ma'ariv.

7:35 P.M.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reiterates his opposition to the kidnapping of the three Israeli youths in the West Bank and says he is working to return them to their families.

Abbas tells a conference of Arab journalists in Ramallah that the kidnapping was "unjustified and unacceptable."

He said that the Israelis should view the Palestinians in the same way "and that we are human beings like them."

6:00 P.M.  A senior Palestinian security official accuses Israel of causing chaos in order to foil the unity government between Fatah and Hamas.

Spokesman for the PA security forces Adnan Damiri says Israel's "aggression" against the Palestinian people is not really part of its search for the three missing Israeli teens, but rather a way to torpedo international recognition of the Palestinian unity government.

4:52 P.M.
  A group of human rights organizations active in the West Bank sent a letter to Israeli security chiefs on Sunday, urging them to refrain from "collectively punishing the civilian Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as part of Operation Brother’s Keeper."

The group, including Amnesty International, B’Tselem, Rabbis for Human Rights and several others, expressed concern that "many of the military’s actions in the Occupied Territories do not directly serve the aim of locating and returning the three abducted Israelis and are severely and unnecessarily violating basic human rights."

3:00 P.M. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is committed to assisting security forces rescue the kidnapped boys, he told Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On during a telephone call between the two on Sunday. 

He also denied that the PA had anything to do with the boys' kidnapping.

In a statement following the conversation, Gal-On said "I call on Netanyahu to refrain from actions that aren't directly related to the kidnappings."

2:08 P.M.
Palestinians complain to UN Security Council over recent escalation in violence in West Bank, Al-Arabiya reports.

11:16 A.M.  Two Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli troops operating in Ramallah and Nablus overnight, the Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported on Sunday.

One of the dead was identified by Ma’an as Ahmad Said Suod Khalid, 36, from the Al-Ein refugee camp in Nablus. The other victim was identified as Mahmoud Ismail Atallah of Ramallah.

Palestinians say Khalid was shot while he was on his way to a mosque, though Israeli troops said that he approached them in a threatening manner. According to the IDF, soldiers fired warning shots, to no avail.

The army said that an initial inquiry into the matter showed that Khalid appeared to mentally unstable.

The army has been conducting door-to-door searches in West Bank towns as part of efforts to ascertain the whereabouts of three teenagers kidnapped, presumably by Hamas militants, earlier this month.

10:56 A.M.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the cabinet meeting said that there is proof that Hamas is responsible for the kidnapping of the boys, and that the proof has been shown to a few countries. He stressed that in the coming days the proof will be shown to the rest of the world as well.

7:04 A.M.  A terrorist armed with a grenade entered southern Israel from the Gaza Strip early on Sunday, and was apprehended by a security officer working for a local village.

The terrorist was found by a patrol officer between the villages of Yaded and Sde Avraham, army sources said. He is being questioned, and no further details are immediately available on the incident.

Earlier Sunday, the air force bombed four targets in Gaza in response to Palestinian rocket fire on southern Israel the previous day.

6:00 A.M.  Palestinian protesters damage seven Palestinian Authority police vehicles, attack police station in Ramallah.

5:00 A.M. 
Israeli fighter jets strike four terror sites in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire on the south.

1:00 A.M. 
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speaks with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon over the weekend, updating him on the developments in the West Bank and saying that Israel has unequivocal evidence that Hamas was behind the kidnappings.

Netanyahu says Israel appreciates Ban's swift condemnation of the kidnappings.

SATURDAY


11:50 P.M.  Two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip fall in southern Israel in  the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council on Saturday before midnight. No damage or injuries reported.

11:00 P.M.  MK Haneen Zoabi accuses Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas of betraying his people by condemning the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers.

8:11 P.M.  Justice Minister Tzipi Livni told Channel 2 on Saturday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu erred in attacking Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in light of Ramallah’s readiness to help Israel in locating the three kidnapped Jewish teenagers.

During an appearance on Channel 2’s Meet the Press, Livni said that the close cooperation between the Israeli military and the Palestinian security services in the West Bank offers an opportunity for a return to the negotiating table after the resolution of the kidnapping crisis.

“Our immediate goal should be to find the boys and the kidnappers as well,” Livni said. “We need to hit Hamas militarily and politically. At the same time, however, we need to work with the Palestinian government, and we need to see if its possible to return to negotiations with Abu Mazen.”

7:07 P.M.  The mother of one of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers granted a television interview to CNN over the weekend to drum up international attention for her plight in hopes that it would expedite the return of her son.

“Everybody's working under the assumption that they are alive,” Rachel Frankel, the mother of Naftali Frankel, told Ben Wedeman of CNN. “Beyond that we don't know much.”

When asked whether it was Naftali Frankel who made the emergency call to police as the kidnapping was taking place, she replied: “We do know there was a phone call from the car during the kidnapping. It was a courageous act.”

Frankel refused to assign blame to the security services for the hours it took to get word to the military regarding the disappearance of the three youths.

7:06 P.M.  Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri rejected comments made by Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki that if Hamas was responsible for abducting the three teens, it would threaten the reconciliation deal.

Abu Zuhri said the foreign minister's remarks "reflect his dubious positions," adding that though the kidnapping story is an Israeli version of what happened, "the policy of kidnapping soldiers and settlers is not a crime but a source of pride for Palestinians."

3:20 P.M. Labor MK Shelly Yacimovich said Saturday that the ongoing IDF operation against Hamas infrastructure was justified, even if such measures were not directly related to the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers, which Israel has blamed the Islamist terror organization of conducting, Israel Radio report.

12:12 P.M. A Reuters witness says hundreds of IDF forces arrived in the Hebron area as the military appeared to step up the search for the missing teens. 

10:03 A.M. Palestinian news agency Ma'an reports that clashes broke out on Saturday between young Palestinian men and IDF forces during raids in the central West Bank city of el-Bireh. No arrests were reported.

8:52 A.M. The IDF says security forces arrested some ten Palestinian suspects of terrorist activities in the West Bank during operations overnight between Friday and Saturday. An exact number of arrests was not confirmed.

FRIDAY

9:35 P.M. The United States continues to offer its support for efforts to locate the three Israeli teenagers who went missing in the West Bank last week and reiterates its warning for all parties to refrain from step that could escalate the situation, US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki says.

During her daily briefing, Psaki said the US was concerned by the reported death of two Palestinians on Friday in the West Bank, and was seeking more information on the circumstances surrounding their deaths.

9:10 P.M.  A Palestinian man who sustained wounds during an IDF raid on the Qalandiya refugee camp died on Friday, the Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported.

Mustafa Hosni Aslan, 22, was reportedly shot in the head by IDF troops during the pre-dawn raid on Friday, according to Ma’an.

Aslan is the second Palestinian to have died in the last 24 hours from Israeli military operations in the West Bank. The IDF has launched a massive sweep of the territories in search for three kidnapped teenagers believed to have been abducted by Hamas.

8:49 P.M.  Finance Minister Yair Lapid told Channel 2 on Friday that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas made a "courageous" statement in condemning the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers.

Lapid said that Israel must "break Hamas' infrastructure" in response to the kidnapping.

6:38 P.M. Palestinian medics said Mohammed Dudin, 15, was killed in the village of Dura, near the city of Hebron in the West Bank. The Israeli military said troops had fired live ammunition when rocks and firebombs were thrown at them during an arrest raid.

Thousands attended a funeral in Dudin's hometown and Palestinian police dispersed a protest by some 200 women and men in Hebron demanding that Israel release Palestinian prisoners held in its jails.

4:30 P.M. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will prevent any uprising in the occupied West Bank despite escalating tensions with Israel, his foreign minister said on Friday.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki told Reuters that a massive Israeli military sweep following the disappearance of three Jewish youths a week ago were unacceptable, but said Abbas would continue assisting Israel in an effort to end the crisis.

"We will do our utmost to help because if the situation continues as it is, this will end up (with) the destruction of what we have built in Palestine," Malki said.

Malki also warned that a recent reconciliation deal with the Islamist group Hamas would be threatened if, as Israel said, it was responsible for abducting the three youths as they hitchhiked near a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.

3:00 P.M. A second Palestinian casualty from overnight raids in the West Bank is being reported by Palestinian media. Twenty-two-year-old Mustafa Hosni Aslan succumbed to his wounds sustained in overnight clashes with security forces on Friday, according to Palestinian news agency Ma'an.

2:30 P.M. During their meeting of about two hours, Netanyahu tells the parents: "The people [of Israel] give you strength and you give them strength in return."

"We are investing enormous effort to get to the boys," he says, adding that forces in the field have been increased.

Sara Netanyahu tells the families that "all of Israel is waiting for the return of your boys."

1:55 P.M. Naftali Fraenkel's uncle Yishai says that the three boys are still alive according to the information given to the families by security forces.

"Of course I can't tell you anything, but I can say that the indications we're receiving - on the basis of intelligence and not just religious faith - is that the boys are alive," Fraenkel was quoted as saying in a radio interview.

12:05 P.M. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meets with the parents of Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrah, and Gil-Ad Shaer at his home, Channel 2 reports.

They are expected to discuss the ongoing operation in the West Bank to find their kidnapped sons, who have been missing for eight days. This was the first meeting between the prime minister and the boys' parents.

11:15 A.M. MK Ahmed Tibi responds to the ongoing IDF operation to find the three missing boys in the West Bank and the death of a Palestinian teenager overnight Thursday, saying that "the Israeli government is exploiting a tragic event and committing ongoing war crimes in the occupied territories."

7:20 A.M. IDF says security forces arrested 25 wanted Palestinians overnight Thursday in the West Bank as part of continued operations to locate three Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped a week ago.

7:06 A.M. The defense establishment is reportedly checking new information indicating that the three Israeli teenagers kidnapped last week in Gush Etzion are currently located in the Hebron area, according to Channel 2.

According to the report, security forces are centralizing searches, that have continue for nearly a week for the youths, in the vicinity of Hebron.

2:37 A.M. US Congressman Mark Meadows calls for the return of abducted Israeli teens Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel, who has dual Israeli-US citizenship. "Pray for the safe return of the kidnapped Israeli teens--one a US citizen," the legislator from North Carolina says on Twitter.

THURSDAY

11:59 P.M. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday evening that he hoped the three missing Israeli teenagers would be found alive.

"We hope that they will be found alive, because we are humans beings and do not accept the abduction or killing of an innocent human being," Palestinian news agency Ma'an quoted Abbas as saying at a conference in Ramallah. 

10:00 P.M. Israel Police in Jerusalem on Thursday closed down two institutions in the southeast Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Safafa for affiliation with Hamas.

Police carried out the closings on the orders of Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino. The joint operation by Israel Police and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) closed one of the institutions for a year and the other for six months.

9:00 P.M. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's wife joins the #BringBackOurBoys campaign in an attempt to rally support for the release of Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrah and Gil-Ad Shaer.

8:41 P.M. British Prime Minister Daivd Cameron on Twitter says: "My thoughts are with the families of the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers. Praying for their early and safe return home."

8:00 P.M.   Rocket fired from Gaza lands in open are in southern Israel. No injuries or damage reported. 

6:20 P.M.  Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed troops today at the Yehuda Division Base where the PM stated, "We know more today than we did a few days ago."

Netanyahu also stated the need for patience, as operations continue in the search for Gil-Ad Shaer,16, Eyal Yifrah, 19, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16.

4:45 P.M.  Some three hundred Palestinians throw stones at IDF soldiers and burn tires in the West Bank city of Tulkarm.

The soldiers used riot dispersal methods on the crowd and fired warning shots in the air.  

4:30 P.M.  Hamas threatens to ignite a third intifada as the IDF continues to arrest Palestinian suspects in the West Bank as part of Israel's search for the three missing teens.

"We are capable of igniting a third Intifada and this is our irrevocable right. It will go off when enough pressure is exerted on the Palestinian people," Hamas senior official Salah Bardawil says Thursday.

3:09 P.M.  Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon signed a decree on Thursday banning Islamic Relief Worldwide from operating in Israel.

Israel believes IRW, which markets itself as a charitable agency that solicits donations from all over the world, funnels cash to Hamas.

Ya’alon’s ban was decided upon after the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), the coordinator for government activities in the territories, and legal authorities provided incriminating information against IRW.

The organization has representatives worldwide, including Australia, the United States, and Britain, where it is headquartered. Some of their local branches in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria are run by Hamas operatives.

Ya’alon’s decree makes it illegal for IRW to function anywhere in Israel, Judea, and Samaria. It will also be forbidden from transferring funds to any destination in Judea and Samaria.

1:49 P.M.  President Shimon Peres promised the parents of the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers on Thursday that he would bring greater attention to their cause during his upcoming trip to the United States.

The president hosted the families at his official residence in Jerusalem on Thursday. There were warm embraces as Peres inquired as to how they were coping with their traumatic ordeal.

“I asked to see you because what is happening now is a national event, not just a family affair,” Peres told them. “The entire nation is united as one, and it is standing by our side and praying with you for the return of the boys home while the IDF and the security forces comb the alleyways of Hebron day and night and turning over every stone in hopes of finding the boys.”

12:27 P.M.  Balad MK Haneen Zoabi told a Gaza-based news site on Thursday that Israel is chiefly responsible for “terrorism and war crimes” in the Middle East.

“It’s Israeli terrorism that led to the kidnappings,” said Zoabi, who repeated her opinion that the abductions were not acts of terrorism. These statements angered Israeli Jews who view the kidnappings as a national trauma.

“[The kidnappings] are part of the Palestinian struggle against the occupation,” Zoabi said. “Israel has no interest in returning the kidnapped boys. Instead, it is exploiting the kidnapping in order to strike a blow against Hamas and the new Palestinian government.”

10:32 A.M.  Security forces say there is growing friction with Palestinians during West Bank raids. Clashes broke out overnight at Birzeit, Jenin, and Bethlehem. In Jenin, two Palestinians hurled explosives at soldiers. Soldiers shot and struck the two attackers. Their condition is unknown.

8:23 A.M.
  The IDF arrested 30 wanted Palestinians in the West Bank before dawn on Thursday, two of whom were former prisoners released in the Gilad Schalit prisoner swap.

IDF troops combed 100 homes and public institutions affiliated Hamas, mostly in the Hebron area, according to Israel Radio.

A military source told Israel Radio that the Palestinians were showing more signs of restlessness and resistance to IDF operations on the ground. Explosive devices were hurled at IDF forces operating in the Jenin refugee camp. No injuries were reported and arrests were made.

Since the start of operations in the wake of the kidnapping of three teens, 280 Palestinians have been arrested, 53 of whom were freed in the Schalit transaction.

12:45 A.M.   The IAF strikes five terror sites in northern and central Gaza Thursday morning, a response to rocket attacks from Gaza that hit the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council.

WEDNESDAY

11:30 P.M. Sources in the PMO say that Abbas’ words -- including his comment that those who carried out the abduction were harming the Palestinian cause -- will be judged by the efforts the Palestinian Authority will make to secure the safe return of the youths to their families.

The true test of Abbas’ words, the sources say, will be whether or not he scuttles the unity pact with Hamas.

8:20 P.M.
A team of seven officers is appointed to examine how the police force handled a distress call from one of the kidnapped teens, which was ignored for 5 hours on the night of the abduction.

The committee will be headed by Commander Moshe Barkat, head of the policing branch of the Operations Branch of the Israel Police. The team is expected to issue their findings in the coming days.

7:30 P.M.
An Arab-Israeli teen from Umm el-Fahm files a complaint with police, saying he received death threats for his public show of support for the return of the three kidnapped yeshiva students.

The 19-year-old posted a photograph of himself on Facebook holding an Israeli flag and a sign reading "Bring Back Our Boys" with a Star of David underneath.

5:50 P.M.  Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Lau holds a mass prayer service at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron on for the return of the three kidnapped teens. 

Lau also tours the Kiryat Arba settlement adjacent to Hebron and visited the Shavei Hebron yeshiva where one of the abducted teenagers, Eyal Yifrah, studies.

5:00 P.M. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni lauds Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ condemnation of the kidnappings.

Abbas’ words were “important, correct, and reflect the true reality – Hamas is an extreme Islamic terrorist organization that attacks civilians and children, and does not wage a war for the Palestinian people and their national aspirations, but rather against the existence of the state of Israel. It is forbidden to give them legitimacy.”

4:00 P.M.  Senior Hamas operative Nail Barguti, a high profile convicted terrorist released by Israel in 2011 during the Schalit prisoner deal, was arrested early Wednesday morning during IDF raids on Hamas members.

Barguti, who had been serving a life sentence for murdering an Israeli army officer, was "very surprised" when Kfir infantry soldiers showed up at his home, a senior security source says.

3:30 P.M.  Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu briefs Leader of the Opposition Isaac Herzog on the operation to return the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped last Thursday.   

Herzog tells Netanyahu that he backs the army's efforts to rescue the teens but that he also thinks the rescue efforts presented an opportunity to strengthen the moderate voices in the Palestinian Authority. 

3:08 P.M.
  Hamas criticizes Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for publicly declaring his willingness to aid Israel in the search for three kidnapped teens.

Abbas says that security coordination with Israel will continue, and that Ramallah will cooperate in helping to find the three boys.

Hamas says that those remarks "are unacceptable and are damaging to the Palestinian interest."

2:35 P.M. A speech by Hamas Political Bureau chief Khaled Mashaal in Doha last month may have been a signal for Hamas in Hebron to move ahead with a kidnapping of Israelis, security sources say.

2:23 P.M. The Israel Prison Services slashed TV privileges and cut access to prison commissaries for security prisoners in the wake of the kidnapping of the Israeli teens.

2:19 P.M.  MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) will have a bodyguard after facing threats to her life, the Knesset announced Wednesday.

Knesset Security Chief Yosef Griff made the decision as Zoabi received death threats over the phone following statements she made on Tuesday and Wednesday that the kidnapping of three teens in Gush Etzion last weekend was not terror.

Zoabi told Army Radio she went into hiding and threw away her phone, which she said was hacked. In addition, her phone number was disseminated on social media.

1:46 P.M. Israel Police on Wednesday confirmed that it has fielded a number of complaints against Balad MK Haneen Zoabi over a series of controversial statements she made on Tuesday regarding the kidnapping of three Israeli teens in the West Bank.

The police announced that they are looking into the matter in coordination with the State Prosecutor's Office and will weigh all of the evidence before deciding whether to pursue incitement charges against the lawmaker.

12:45 P.M. A committee has been established to determine whether Hamas prisoners who were released in the Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange, violated their agreement not to take part in terrorist activities, stated security sources on Wednesday.

If the committee finds that the Palestinian prisoners recently placed back under arrest in Operation Brother's Keeper violated the agreement, they will be returned to prison for the remainder of their original sentences.

12:30 P.M. Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch says Hamas must understand that kidnapping doesn’t pay after the IDF arrested 50 Hamas members who had been freed from Israeli jails as part of the “Schalit” deal.

“All the prisoners that were released in the Schalit deal were arrested. They will be interrogated and then jailed,” Aharonovitch told reporters while he visited the Gush Etzion region of the West Bank.

12:27 P.M.  Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday lashed out at those who abducted the three Israeli teens last week, accusing them of "wanting to destroy [the PA]."

"These three boys are human beings like us, and they should be returned to their families," the Palestinian leader told foreign ministers at an Organization of the Islamic Conference gathering in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Abbas added that it was in the Palestinians' interest to maintain close security coordination with the Israelis "in order to avoid a new intifada."

The Palestinian leader said he has been in contact with American officials regarding the kidnapping since one of the teens also holds US citizenship.

"I told [the Americans] that it didn't matter whether he is Israel or American," he said. "He's a human being."

Abbas accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of exploiting the kidnapping as a pretext to send the military into PA-controlled territory even though the abduction took place in an area of the West Bank that is not under Palestinian jurisdiction.

Abbas conferred with Egyptian foreign minister Samah Shukri and the Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud.

11:45 A.M. Finance Minister Yair Lapid on Wednesday said that efforts to bring back the three kidnapped teens would be "a long, tough campaign, but we will prevail."

Speaking alongside visiting US Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew, Lapid said, "We did not ask for this confrontation, but let no one think they can kidnap or hurt our children and get away with it alive. We will hunt them and their leaders down wherever they hide and we will severely punish them and those who send them. We will do everything that needs to be done to bring our boys back home."

11:35 A.M. On his first official visit to Israel on Wednesday, US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew "strongly condemned" the kidnapping of three Israelis last week as "despicable" and gave full-throated support for Israeli efforts to return them.

"We call for the immediate release of the boys, and we continue to offer our full support to Israel in its efforts to locate them," Lew said in a press conference alongside Finance Minister Yair Lapid.

11:23 A.M.  Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Wednesday condemned the abduction of three Israeli teens in the West Bank, telling Army Radio that the Quartet, which Blair represents, views the kidnapping as a "wicked and terrible act."

Blair told Army Radio that the international community sent its condolences and "heartfelt sympathy and solidarity" to the families of the three youths.

"There is nothing but revulsion in the international community for this act," Blair said when asked why it took four days for him to issue an official condemnation of the kidnapping.

Blair said that Palestinian reconciliation cannot be complete until Hamas explicitly renounces violence and recognizes signed agreements between Israel and the Fatah-ruled Palestinian Authority.

11:01 A.M. An Egyptian official said that Cairo, which is in contact with Hamas and other Palestinian factions, is helping Israel gather information that might lead to the three teenagers kidnapped last week.

However, the official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, denied Israeli and Palestinian media reports that Egyptian mediation was already under way to return the boys.

"There is a flow of information (between Egypt and Israel), but we are still short of information, so there is no negotiation," the official said.

10:34 A.M. Communications Minister Gilad Erdan stated to Israel Radio on Wednesday that the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and intelligence assets are aware of which Hamas wing is responsible for the kidnapping of three Israeli youth in the West Bank.

Erdan said that the Shin Bet and intelligence agencies in Israel have arrested large numbers of Hamas operatives in Operation Brother's Keeper in an attempt to garner further leads to help locate the abductees.

10:26 A.M.
  Balad MK Haneen Zoabi refuses to apologize for her statement that kidnappers of Israeli youths are not terrorists.

She tells Army Radio that she is currently in hiding after receiving threats.

Opposition leader Herzog says Zoabi's comments are more harmful to coexistence between Arabs and Jews than "price tag" attacks.

9:29 A.M. Likud MK Ze'ev Elkin praises security forces for the overnight arrests of 51 Palestinians released in the Gilad Schalit deal.

Elkin said that, henceforth, terrorists would know that kidnappings of Israelis would only serve to put hundreds more terrorists in Israeli prisons.

The Likud MK vowed to promote legislation that would put all terrorists freed from prison automatically on probation so that the threat of returning to jail would "always be over their heads."

9:22 A.M.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman says that Germany, France, Britain, Belgium, Bulgaria and Norway all condemned the kidnapping of three Israelis in phone conversations with him.

"I have informed [Europe] Israel is determined and will do anything to bring about the release of the three [kidnapped] youths and punish those responsible," he said.


9:03 A.M. Mahmoud al-Aloul, a veteran member of the Fatah Central Committee who is closely associated with Mahmoud Abbas, said Tuesday night that the abduction of the three Israeli youths was nothing but an Israeli "play."

Al-Aloul, who previously served as Palestinian Authority governor of Nablus, wrote on the official Fatah Facebook page: "Let's think well of the growing possibility that all what's happening is a play that wasn't produced well and that no one was kidnapped in the first place."

8:30 A.M. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praises security forces for overnight arrests of Hamas operatives.

"The operation overnight in which Hamas terrorists were arrested, including those released in the prisoner swap for Gilad Schalit, is an element that carries with it an important message," the prime minister wrote on his Twitter account. "This is all part of a series of many operations that will continue, and their goal is to retrieve the kidnapped youngsters and strike a blow to Hamas in Judea and Samaria."

6:20 A.M. The IDF arrested 64 members of Hamas, including around 50 Palestinians who were released in the Gilad Schalit deal in 2011 early Wednesday morning, reports Israel Radio.

Palestinian media is reporting that two members of parliament were also arrested overnight as part of Operation Brother's Keeper.

1:20 A.M. Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon is scheduled to meet today with the families of the three boys in his office in Tel Aviv.

TUESDAY

10:00 P.M. Ya’alon: “We won’t cease or rest until we find the abducted teens.

7:09 P.M. 10 armed groups, including Hamas and Fatah, hold press conference in Gaza but don't claim responsibility for kidnapping.

7:00: P.M. Nitzan Alon, head of IDF central command says "Hamas is feeling the hits and getting the message."

5:43 P.M. Prime Minister Netanyahu tells Tony Blair that the world must distance itself from those who kidnap children. 

5:02 P.M. Security official: Hamas has sustained a series of blows from IDF operations.

3:19 P.M. The security cabinet decided Tuesday that Israel will stiffen the jail conditions for Hamas prisoners as a result of the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens by the organization last week.
 
1:08 P.M. After the families of the three kidnapped yeshiva students meet for the first time following the abduction, Rachel Fraenkel, mother of missing teen Naphtali Fraeknel, addresses media, saying "we just want to hug our children."

12:25 P.M. EU releases official statement condemning the kidnapping: "We condemn in the strongest terms the abduction of three Israeli students in the West Bank and call for their immediate release and safe return to their families," read the press release adding that, "Such acts can only undermine international efforts to encourage a resumption of peace negotiations. The EU encourages continued close cooperation between the Israeli and Palestinian security."

11:02 A.M. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meets with the families of the kidnapped teens, telling their relatives that Israel is doing everything possible to find the boys.

10:40 A.M. Relatives from all three families of the abducted yeshiva students Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrach and Naphtali Fraenkel are meeting for the first time since the youths went missing last Thursday.

9:04 A.M. Police say three members of a family from Nazareth were arrested on suspicion of threatening to harm their 17-year-old relative after he expressed solidarity with the three kidnapped yeshiva students in a video he uploaded to social media.

8:51 A.M. Palestinian reports say the IDF arrested Abdullah Sa'di [42], a senior Palestinian Authority intelligence official, during sweeps in Jenin.

7:40 A.M. Economy Minister Naftali Bennett tells Army Radio: "We're turning the membership card for Hamas into a ticket to hell."

7:18 A.M. Israeli media reports 41 Hamas members arrested overnight.

6:32 A.M.
Fifth day without the boys begins with continued IDF presence in Hebron and West Bank.

2:26 A.M. IAF strikes weapons storage and manufacturing sites in Gaza in retaliation for rocket launched toward Israel.

12:13 A.M.
IDF arrests 8 more Hamas members in Hebron.

MONDAY

9:58 P.M. Three US Congressmen - Andy Harris, (MD), Doug Lamborn (CO), and Jim Jordan (OH) - condemn the "despicable" kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers, calling on the US government to provide Israel with any necessary resources to ensure the safe return of the youths and to suspend any aid to the Palestinian Authority until their return.

8:00 P.M. Police arrest three Israeli demonstrators at the Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank for disturbing the peace during protests against the government's handling of the abduction of three teens.

7:39 P.M.
Hamas strongly condemns the continued Israeli security crackdown on its representatives in the West Bank as a "cowardly act."

6:56 P.M. Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky visits the families of 19-year-old Eyal Yifrah and 16-year-old Gil-Ad Shaer, two of the three Israeli teenagers kidnapped by terrorists on Thursday evening in Gush Etzion.

6:42 P.M.  Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon promises Israel will get to the kidnappers and the kidnapped youths. "Hamas will pay a very heavy price."

6:39 P.M. Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu addresses the nation regarding the kidnapping of the three Israeli youths. "We are in the midst of a complicated operation. We must be prepared for the possibility that this will take time." He added that Israel's main concern at the moment was to return the three teenagers and deal with Hamas, who he accuses of conducting the abduction.

5:49 P.M. Opposition MKs criticize Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Ze'ev Elkin (Likud Beytenu) Monday for not calling a meeting following the abduction of three boys in Gush Etzion Thursday.

4:47 P.M. Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein leads a prayer service at the Knesset on Monday to bring back the kidnapped boys.

4:45 P.M. Germany calls for the release of the three Israeli teenagers abducted in the West Bank, warning that the kidnapping of the youngsters could escalate tensions in the region.

3:08 P.M.   Economy Minister Naftali Bennett warned terrorists involved in the kidnapping, "If one hair on the heads of the three children is damaged, we will chase any person who was involved in the planning, aiding, or execution of this kidnapping, whether he was involved directly or indirectly."

3:04 P.M. Forty French politicians visited the Fraenkel family Monday to express their support. The group told the Fraenkel family that they will pray for their son, Naftali, who was abducted in Gush Etzion last week.

12:30 P.M.   Iris and Ori Yifrach the parents of Eyal Yifrach, faced the media with an emotional address to their son and to the nation. They thanked the nation, as well as the security forces, the IDF, the Shin Bet, the prime minister and everyone involved in the search efforts for the three teens.

12:30 P.M.   The IDF Spokesman's Office released a statement warning the public to not listen to unfounded rumors regarding the three kidnapped Israeli teens that have been spreading in the past few hours.

"These rumors have no basis and are not reliable," the IDF said. "The only trustworthy information is that is released by the IDF."

12:20 P.M.   Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a rare telephone conversation Monday that he expected his assistance in securing the return of the three kidnapped teenagers, and that the Hamas-Fatah pact is bad for Israel, bad for the Palestinians and bad for the region.

The conversation came as Abbas issued his first condemnation of the kidnapping of Naphtali Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrach. He also condemned Israeli military action over the last three days. In addition, he praised the Palestinians security apparatus for their work in maintaining the quiet and stability over the last few days, and called for all not to turn to violence.

11:45 A.M.  IDF releases Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz's statements on the search efforts: "We have a goal: to find these three boys and bring them home, and to damage Hamas as much as possible," said Gantz.

8:00 A.M.   Hamas' parliamentary speaker in the West Bank Abdel Aziz Dweck among the 50 people arrested by security forces Sunday night and Monday morning. Hamas leaders Bassem al-Za'arir, Azzam Salhab, Samir al-Qadi and Maher al-Kharraz were also taken into custody during the night.

7:05 A.M.    Security forces arrested 50 Palestinians, most of them Hamas members, in the latest wave of raids across the West Bank in response to the kidnapping of three Israeli youths near Hebron on Thursday, a security source said.

He spoke soon after IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz concluded an evaluation at IDF Central Command.

5:50 A.M.   During an arrest operation against members of Hamas and other terrorist groups in the Palestinian village of Jilzun, northeast of Ramallah, a violent disturbance broke out, in which rioters hurled concrete blocks and rocks at soldiers from rooftops and alleys. 
 
A soldier spotted one rioter throwing large blocks and bricks at soldiers in a way that endangered their lives. As the rioter was about to hurl down another block, the soldier shot and killed him, the IDF said.

5:15 A.M.  Palestinian hospital officials are quoted as telling the AFP news service on Monday that a Palestinian was killed by the IDF near Ramallah.

There is no independent confirmation of this claim.

3:35 A.M.  The Israel Air Force struck numerous targets in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for rocket fire by Palestinian rejectionist groups, Israel Radio reported.

There is no word regarding casualties.

1:33 A.M.  Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, Israel's coordinator of government activities in the Palestinian territories (COGAT) told the Palestinian news agency Ma'an late Sunday that the army possesses a "great deal of information" about the kidnapping of the three Jewish teens.

Mordechai would not elaborate, though he did add that the IDF would continue to surround Hebron in accordance with the latest developments in the pursuit of the kidnapped youths.

12:46 A.M.  Deputy Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi told Channel 2 on Sunday that "from all indications," it is unlikely that the kidnappings of three teens in the West Bank will develop into a situation whereby Israel negotiates a prisoner swap with the captors.

12:16 A.M.   Palestinian sources told Israel Radio that two Hamas operatives were arrested after the IDF surrounded their home in the southern part of Hebron. Hamas television claimed that the IDF used a missile to break into the home, and that special forces also took part in the operation. Two Palestinians were wounded in the incident.

SUNDAY

10:38 P.M. Gunfire and a blast were heard as Israeli troops searching Hebron for three Israeli teenagers abducted by terrorists surrounded a house on Sunday, witnesses said.

Witnesses also reported that the IDF fired a rocket at the house.

9:05 P.M. Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan told Channel 2 on Sunday that Palestinian Authority security forces were "willingly" helping in the search for three yeshiva students who were kidnapped on Thursday night.
Palestinian authorities acknowledged the cooperation, drawing Hamas censure.

Erdan played down, however, the role of a Palestinian administration, saying the recovery of the teenagers and the handling of their captors would be "almost entirely based on the Israeli military and security services."

8:30 P.M. Insp.-General Yohanan Danino responds to media criticism for the police's apparent delay in passing on information to the IDF when one of the kidnapped boys was able to place a call to police dispatch saying, "We've been kidnapped."

Danino stated to the media that the time for self-criticism and investigating mistakes will come later and that right now all efforts must be focused on finding the kidnapped boys and bringing them home.

8:05 P.M. The mother of Gil-Ad Shaer spoke to the public on Sunday for the first time since her son disappeared.

She thanked the public for its support as well as the soldiers and security forces currently looking for the three boys in the West Bank. "The army, the prime minister and our politicians are doing everything they can and I thank you," she said.

8:00 P.M.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s wife Sara and many Israeli politicians visit the families of the three boys,  Naphtali Fraenkel, 16, Gil-Ad Shaer, 16, and Eyal Yiftach, 19.

“We’re all praying for your sons to return homes quickly and safely,” she tells them.

7:36 P.M. Widespread manhunts are continuing in full force to locate the three Israeli teenagers who went missing on Thursday night, IDF spokesman Moti Almoz said on Sunday evening.

"We are operating in large volumes in order to be successful. During the past day we extended the operations and arrested dozens of Hamas members," he said in a brief address to the press. "We will continue to operate in the entire territory, we will spare no effort as our aim is to return the boys."

7:00 P.M. US Secretary of State John Kerry came out with harsh words for those responsible for the abduction of three Israeli teen boys over the weekend, calling the event a "despicable terrorist act."

"The United States strongly condemns the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers and calls for their immediate release," Kerry said in a statement. "We continue to offer our full support for Israel in its search for the missing teens, and we have encouraged full cooperation between the Israeli and Palestinian security services. We understand that cooperation is ongoing."

6:45 P.M. REVEALED: One of the three boys kidnapped in the West Bank on Thursday night managed to tell police "we've been kidnapped" but the report was still not given to security sources for hours,the military censor clears for publication on Sunday afternoon.

The call was made to police dispatch around 10:30 p.m. but it was only as much as five hours later before security services were notified.

4:37 P.M. Finance Minister Yair Lapid says that Israel has a zero tolerance policy for terrorism and severely punishes it perpetrators.

“I urge the public to stand united behind the security forces as they complete their task using all means necessary at their disposal,” he says.

4:16 P.M.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, during a visit to Ghana on Sunday, tells Ghana’s Foreign Minister Hanna Tetteh that Israel hoped to bring the kidnapped teens home without a show of force, but added, that in the end the government would “do everything necessary to bring them home.”

3:59
P.M. Palestinian report: Egypt is reportedly taking measures to help clarify events surrounding the abduction of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank and mediate for their release, a senior Egyptian official told Palestinian news agency Ma'an on Sunday.

According to the report, Egyptian security forces are conducting talks with Palestinian officials, in attempts to open channels of communication with various Palestinian terror groups, particularly Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.

The Egyptian source told Ma'an that the situation is likely to be resolved soon.

3:38 P.M.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reiterates on Sunday afternoon his accusation that Hamas members were the perpetrators of the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank, despite the terror organization's denial of responsibility for the incident.

"Hamas denials do not change this fact," Netanyahu says in a statement.

3:05 P.M.
A senior military official says the IDF believes the boys are still in the West Bank.

"We have assessed that the hostages were not transferred to Gaza or Sinai," the official was quoted by Israel Radio as saying. "We were prepared for this eventuality and we will use all of the means in our possession to locate them."

1:40 P.M.
Rachel Fraenkel, the mother of Naphtali Frankel of Nof Ayalon, speaks with the press on Sunday afternoon for the first time, saying, "Naphtali, we love you endlessly and the people of Israel are working day and night to bring you home."

12:55 P.M.
In the wake of reports that police failed to notify security forces promptly after receiving a distress call, police release a statement saying they will not deny or confirm reports which are the responsibility of the news outlets themselves. Sunday's statement echoes their Saturday night statement, when they said they were focusing only on the investigation at the moment rather than dealing with rumors.

12:38 P.M.
The IDF has called up a limited number of reserves as the military operation to rescue three kidnapped Israelis in the West Bank continues to grow. The call up is small in scope at this stage. 
 
Also, the air force deploys a number of Iron Dome anti-rocket batteries in southern Israel. 

12:18 P.M.
Hamas official denies group's involvement in kidnapping, calls Netanyahu's accusations "stupid" according to Palestinian news agency Ma'an.

12:00 P.M.
Two senior Hamas officials have been missing since Thursday, Israel Radio reports. Security forces are investigating their connection to the kidnapping.

11:25 A.M.
Prayer services are to be held at some 700 religious schools at 11:30 a.m. for the three teens.

Organizers say the largest prayer service was scheduled for the Makor Chaim Yeshiva in Kfar Etzion in the West Bank where two of the abducted teens Naphtali Frankel and Gil-Ad Shaer study. Another prayer service is taking place at the Shavei Hebron Yeshiva in Hebron where Eyal Yifrach is enrolled.

10:59 A.M. Hamas is behind the kidnapping of the three teenagers late Thursday night, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says at weekly cabinet meeting.

10:50 A.M. Prayer services will be held at some 700 religious schools at 11:30 in the morning on Sunday for the three teens.

10:44 A.M.  Jailed Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard releases a statement on the kidnapping: "In the depths of Gehinom, Jonathan Pollard is davening for the safe return of our 3 boys who were kidnapped on Thursday by a blood-thirsty Palestinian terrorist cell," the statement said.

"Jonathan urges everyone to drop what you are doing and to pray urgently for the immediate rescue and safe return home of our kidnapped boys, alive, healthy and unharmed."

9:00 A.M.
Hamas leaders Hassan Yousef, Wasfi Qabaha, Khaled Abu Arafeh and Mohammed Totah are among 80 arrested by IDF, according to Palestinian media reports.

7:00 A.M.
The IDF arrests 80 Hamas members - including members of the Palestinian Legislative Council - in a massive wave of raids throughout the West Bank.

While suspicions appear to be falling on Hamas as being behind the abduction,a security source says the wave of arrests does not mean that Hamas definitely carried it out.

6:50 A.M. Economy Minister Naftali Bennett tells the families of the three kidnapped youth that the government will turn over every rock in order to bring your children home.

"Kidnapping children will not be an event that passes quietly and it will be clear to all groups involved, the terrorists those that sent them and those that support them, that such operations do not pay," the Bayit Yehudi minister says.

"We will respond with an iron fist to terror. This is the time for the entire nation of Israel to increase our prayers and to stay unified, determined and strong. We will not be broken," he adds. 

6:45 A.M. UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon condemns the kidnapping of three Israeli yeshiva students and expresses his solidarity with the youngsters' families, calling for their immediate release.

Moon urges all sides to exercise restraint and to lend support for the release and safe return of the boys.

1:00 A.M. From the Western Wall in Jerusalem to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, thousands of people hold prayer services for the safe return of the three captive teens.

12:15 A.M. A curfew is put in place for the Hebron area beginning at midnight Sunday. Additionally, all Gaza checkpoints are closed.

Exceptions are being made for emergency medical and humanitarian purposes.   
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