LONDON – 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.”
Speaking in hesitant English but assisted by a Hebrew-speaking Zionist Federation member, Yifrah described how his parents suffered sleepless nights and had hardly eaten since Eyal was kidnapped. “It’s an unusual situation for the family, however they are lifted by the support from everywhere,” he said.
So how did he think his brother would cope? “Eyal is a strong person and he will do everything he can to cope with the situation,” he replied.
He did not think Eyal knew Shaer and Fraenkel before the kidnapping but added, “I am sure now they are best friends and will be helping each other.”
Israel’s Ambassador Daniel Taub said the three families were “remarkable,” and that their three boys had been targeted “just because they were ordinary Israelis” but that over the past 13 days the special nature of their families had shone through.
“Today along with the pain, along with the prayers, along with the hope, along with the concern, along with the solidarity, is a day we can feel an element of pride. First and foremost in the values of our armed forces who are doing everything they can to bring our boys home, and pride also in the families who have shown us such tremendous dignity, such a tremendous example of courage, honor, respect and love every day,” he said.
In other action in support of the three missing students, 33 members of Parliament have introduced an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons calling for their immediate release.
The motion endorsed Foreign Secretary William Hague’s strong condemnation of the kidnapping and noted the probable involvement of Hamas “in this despicable terrorist act.”