NEW YORK – The Security Council released a statement late on Tuesday condemning the killings of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel, marking the first public acknowledgment by a UN body of the recent events near Hebron surrounding three teenagers’ kidnappings and murders on June 12.

The council said it was profoundly outraged, called the killings a “heinous act,” and expressed condolences to the families.

It also “encouraged Israel and the Palestinian Authority to continue working together to... bring the perpetrators of these acts to justice.”

It echoed UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon’s call for restraint and to “refrain from steps that could further destabilize the situation.”

Both the secretary-general and Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman had publicly condemned the kidnappings as well as the expressions of support for the terrorists by Hamas leaders, and condemned the methods the IDF was employing in the West Bank, particularly around Hebron, in its search for the missing youths. Ban issued a statement earlier this week expressing his sorrow over the three teenagers’ deaths.

Israel’s envoy to the UN Ron Prosor has spoken out vigorously about the lack of international response to the kidnappings.

At press conferences on June 17 and on June 26, before the discovery that the boys had been killed, he repeatedly called on the international community to take action against Hamas and denounced the Palestinian Authority unity government between Hamas and Fatah. “The international community bought into a bad deal, and Israel is paying for it,” Prosor said on June 17, five days after the boys went missing. “Terrorism is what they [Hamas] know, it is what they preach, and it is what they teach.”

Several days later the Palestinian representative to the UN, Riyad Mansour, flanked by supporters from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt, called on the Security Council to condemn the “collective punishment” of the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The Security Council did not release a statement that day.

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