Patience is needed as efforts continue in "full force" to find the three Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped two weeks ago in the West Bank, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon told the parents of the missing yeshiva students on Friday.
"Until proven otherwise, the assumption is that the boys are alive," Ya'alon said in a meeting between the families of the teens and Israeli security and defense leaders.
The parents of the teens were updated on the progress of investigations and continued searches for their sons in the meeting with Ya'alon, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Yoram Cohen.
Ya'alon stressed to the families of Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel that Israel was sparing no effort in continued operations to retrieve the boys.
The defense minister added that security forces would not ease operations until the teens' abductors were apprehended and the boys were found.
"This is a very complex task. Since the previous meeting, we have advanced the search, but we must remain patient," he stressed.