Religious leaders and politicians joined with the outpouring of grief on Tuesday following the discovery of the bodies of the three murdered boys, Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel.
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau said that the entire Jewish people across the globe were shocked by “the despicable murders.”
“The boys who were murdered are a sanctification of Gods name,” said Lau, who has cut short a visit to US Jewish communities because of the discovery of the bodies.
“[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.”
Deputy Religious Services Minister Eli Ben-Dahan (Bayit Yehudi) said he closely felt the pain of the three bereaved families and said he was certain the prayers that were uttered since the boys were abducted were not in vain.
“I have no doubt that the prayers helped the Jewish people which has united around the families in the last few weeks,” said Ben-Dahan.
He also called on the cabinet to punish the families of the suspected murderers as well as Hamas “so that this phenomenon does not recur,” and to impose Israeli sovereignty over the Etzion settlement bloc.
“Firstly, the families of the murderers must be sent into exile abroad, their houses must be destroyed and rebuilding them must be prevented. Additionally we must take advantage of this moment and impose sovereignty over the broader Gush Etzion region,” Ben-Dahan said.
Rabbi David Stav, chairman of the Tzohar rabbinical association, said that the hope of the boys returning home in safety had always been slim but that the nation had united in the hope that divine mercy would change the reality.
“Now we have two options: the first is to return to the cynicism and arguments of yesterday, and to blame the police, the state, and anyone else,” Stav said.
“But there is another way too: to use everything that we have achieved in these days to [attain] new heights, to take all the love and faith that we learned from the [bereaved] families and take our people and our state to a new, beautiful and truthful place.”
Shas chairman Arye Deri praised the three families and said that the Jewish people was mourning together with them.
“They have shown incredible faith and courage in the last few weeks. Their brave spirit should serve for us all as an example and a lighthouse in whose light we should walk,” the Shas leader said.
United Torah Judaism MK Meir Porush described the slaughtered boys as “delightful young men who immersed themselves in their studies and who were murdered in cold blood by unjust murderers.”
Porush said that “the heart of the Jewish people is bleeding together with the families who lost their sons, who wanted to return home after a day of studies.”