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Watch: Mother of Kidnapped Teen Naftali Frenkel Speaks Out

'They were just boys on their way home from school,' Racheli Frenkel states, tearfully, to reporters.
By Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 6/15/2014, 3:01 PM

Racheli Frenkel, the mother of kidnapped yeshiva student Naftali Frenkel, 16, made an impassioned plea for her son on Sunday, as well as for the lives of fellow captives Eyal Yifrah, 19, and Gilad Sha'ar, 16. 

"They were just boys on their way home from school," she stated, tearfully, to reporters. 

Frenkel thanked the outpouring of love and support from the Nof Ayalon community, and clarified that the family is in close contact with security forces on the situation. 

Frenkel, who is a US citizen, also noted that the US Embassy in Tel Aviv is "very supportive" regarding the kidnapping crisis. So far, the US has not issued an official response on the kidnapped teens, sparking a social media storm and an official petition for the White House to get involved.

Despite the lack of information, she also expressed gratitude and optimism for the future. 

"We'll hug them soon," she said. "God willing, we will be able to celebrate their return safely." 

Frenkel asked the public to continue praying for the boys. They have been named as Ya'akov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah, Eyal ben Iris T'shura, and Gil'ad Micha'el ben Bat-Galim.

Prayers have been taking place around the country since Friday evening, when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu confirmed that the boys, who went missing on Thursday night, have been kidnapped by "a terrorist organization".

On Sunday, the Prime Minister was more specific, naming Hamas as the organization responsible - a claim the Islamist group has denied as "stupid" despite its vocal support for the abduction and public celebrations in the Gaza Strip, where it rules.