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Red Cross Calls for Release of Kidnapped Youths

International Committee of the Red Cross calls for release of three Israeli teenagers, says they must be treated "humanely".
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 6/16/2014, 5:14 AM

From left to right: Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Sha'ar and Eyal Yifrah
From left to right: Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Sha'ar and Eyal Yifrah
Courtesy of the families

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Sunday called for the immediate and unconditional release of the three Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped by terrorists last week.

“We are very concerned by the fate of the teenagers. International humanitarian law prohibits abduction as well as the taking of hostages,” Robert Mardini, head of ICRC operations in the Middle East, said in a statement.

“They must be treated humanely, and their lives and dignity protected and respected,” he added.

The ICRC statement said the organization was ready to act as a neutral intermediary between the sides on a strictly humanitarian basis.

The statement comes as the search for the three boys - Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha’ar - continues.

The IDF has been carrying out an arrest operation in Judea and Samaria, and on Sunday night arrested two Hamas terrorists in a Hevron home. Earlier, top Hamas member Hassan Yousef was arrested as part of the operation.

A senior IDF official told reporters Sunday afternoon that in the army's estimation, the three kidnapped teenagers taken Thursday night by unidentified captors are still alive, and are being held somewhere in the Judean Hills.

"The IDF is thoroughly familiar with Hamas' infrastructure in Hevron," he assured.