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Defense Minister Tells Parents: Rescue Operation is 'Unlimited'

Min. Yaalon meets the Sha'ar, Frenkel and Yifrah families, says security arms' top priority is finding their boys.
By Hezki Ezra, Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/18/2014, 2:43 PM

Fathers with Yaalon.
Fathers with Yaalon.
Ariel Hermoni

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon met with the parents of abducted youths Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha'ar Wednesday morning, and updated them on the state of the investigation into their sons' disappearance, and the ongoing IDF anti-terror operation that is accompanying the search.

Besides the parents, representatives from the Israel Police and IDF who are in touch with the families took part in the meeting.

"We are meeting so that I can bring you up to date on where we are at present,” he said. “I want, first of all, to express my support for you. You radiate strength and resolve. In events like this, one of the most important things is your ability to remain strong, and this arouses respect.

"We are in the midst of an operation to reach the abductors and free the boys. The operation is constantly evolving, day and night, and there are many operations being carried out on the ground, and as long as we have no proof that shows otherwise, our working assumption is that the boys are alive. Up until now, there has been no claim of responsibility, and no demand was directed at us.”

"We are concentrating a large intelligence and ad operational effort, which includes painstakingly combing the territory. We – and mostly you – have many long and difficult hours of tension, doubt and uncertainty ahead of us. We do not know how long it will last, and patience is required. The way to reach the boys and the abductors is what we are doing now. There is nothing to limit the operation. All of the intelligence and operational abilities of the IDF, the Israel Security Agency and the Israel Police are prioritized toward the operation. We will not rest until we put our hands on the kidnappers and bring back the boys.”

Yaalon added that at the same time, the IDF is taking action against Hamas infrastructures in Judea and Samaria. “Tonight, we arrested some of the Hamas operatives who were released in the Shalit deal, with the clear message being that we are not only acting to free the boys, but also that when there is an abduction, we will return to jail those whom we released [in previous deals].”



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