There is hope that the three kidnapped teens are alive, Rachel Fraenkel told CNN as she appealed to the international community to help ensure their safe return.
“I know that everyone is working on the assumption that they are alive and they have reason to believe they are alive,” Fraenkel said.
Her son, Naftali, 16, along with Gil-Ad Shaer, 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19, were kidnapped on the night of June 12 from a hitchhiking post in the Gush Etzion region of the West Bank.
Almost immediately, one of the teens called the police and said: “I’ve been kidnapped.”
Fraenkel said that the call, which she and the other parents have since heard, was “a very courageous act, we are very proud of the boys.”
The short interview that she granted CNN, was her most extensive statement to date on the kidnapping.
“He is in high school. He is a fun kid. He has a very cyclical sense of humor. He loves basketball. He loves to play the guitar. He is a good student, a combination of serious and fun. He is my boy,” she said.
The whole situation is surreal, she said, adding that: “We did not choose this situation.
It is very difficult. We do not sleep much. We do not eat much.”
“We are concentrated on keeping our family together.
We have other children to take care of, they keep us sane,” Fraenkel said.
What is most important, she added, is that “We are trying to get our story out to the world, to get our children back. “They are boys. They should be brought back to their families. We are distraught with worry.”
“I have a message to anyone in the world that is listening, they should do anything they can to get our children back home. We just want them back in our homes. We want to hug them. Any decent person would do anything they can to get them back,” she said.
On Friday, she, her husband and the parents of the other teens, met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
He told 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 said, adding that forces in the field have been increased.
Sara Netanyahu told the families that “all of Israel is waiting for the return of your boys.”