Daily Israel Report

UN 'Unsure' If Kidnapping Really Happened

Ban Ki-Moon spokesperson says no 'concrete evidence' from independent investigation that three teens were kidnapped.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 6/18/2014, 8:46 AM

Ban Ki-Moon
Ban Ki-Moon
Flash 90

A spokesperson for United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said Tuesday night that the UN has no "concrete evidence" that Eyal Yifrah, 19, Naftali Frenkel, 16, and Gilad Sha'ar, 16, were "actually" kidnapped by Hamas terrorists last Thursday.

The spokesperson, Farhan Haq, was quoted by Voice of Israel public radio as saying the UN does not have an independent investigative unit that could confirm the kidnapping.

Making Haq's words more confusing is the fact that Ban already condemned the kidnapping on Saturday, noting particularly that two of the kidnapped Israeli students are minors.

Indeed, Ban took the opportunity to equate between the kidnapping and the IAF counter-terror air strike on Gaza terror targets on Saturday, after four rockets were fired from the Hamas-enclave into Israel.

Ban expressed "deep concern on the trend toward violence on the ground and attendant loss of life, including today of a child in Gaza as a result of a recent Israeli airstrike." He urged both Israel and the terrorists to "exercise restraint and lend urgent support for the release and safe return of the three youths."

On Monday, MK Orly Levi-Abekasis (Yisrael Beytenu) drafted a letter to the United Nations (UN), joining a chorus of calls requesting immediate and urgent assistance in finding the missing youths. 

"Last Thursday evening, June 12, 2014, three Israeli youths were abducted - two of them only 16 years old," the MK writes. "The kidnapping highlights, among other things, the breaking of all humanitarian boundaries and is a blatant violation of the rights of Israeli children to live their lives safely and without fearing for their lives."

Levi-Abekasis called for the UN to uphold the International Convention of the United Nations on Rights of the Child (CRC), "which states that 'Member States shall take all appropriate measures at the national level [...]  in order to prevent the abduction, sale or trafficking of children for any purpose or in any form."

"Similarly, the CRC provides that 'member states must undertake to respect and to ensure respect for rules of international humanitarian law relating to the child, applying them in situations of armed conflict,'" added Levi-Abekasis.