Daily Israel Report

Ya'alon Orders Closure on Hevron

Following kidnapping of three students, Defense Minister orders closure on the Hevron area, border crossings to Gaza be closed.
By Uzi Baruch and Elad Benari
First Publish: 6/15/2014, 5:40 AM

Checking cars near Hevron
Checking cars near Hevron
Flash 90

In the wake of the kidnapping of three Israeli yeshiva students, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon ordered on Saturday night that a closure be imposed on the Hevron area and that border crossings to Gaza be shut down.

During the closure, entry into Israel will only be permitted in humanitarian and medical cases, all subject to the approval of the Civil Administration.

The Cabinet met on Saturday night for a discussion on the kidnapping, following which Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett Minister spoke to the families of the three kidnapped students.

"The government will turn every stone to bring your children home,” Bennett told the families. “Kidnapping of children will not go quietly and will not pay off to any party who was involved in it, neither for the terrorists nor for those who sent them and their supporters. Against terrorism we'll use an iron fist. It's time for the people of Israel to pray, and stay united, strong and determined.”

Earlier on Saturday night, residents of the central Israeli city of Elad held a mass public prayer for the safety of the three yeshiva students.

Elad is the hometown of 19-year-old Eyal Yifrah, who was kidnapped by terrorists as he hitchhiked home, together with Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha'ar, both 16, from the towns of Nof Ayalon and Talmon respectively.

Soon after the end of Shabbat on Saturday night, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu confirmed that the students, missing since Thursday night, had been kidnapped by a "terrorist organization".

Security forces are preparing for a prolonged search, with one official telling Arutz Sheva they were preparing for "long days and night ahead" in the search for the boys.