Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with participants in the 29th Israel International Mayors Conference Wednesday, where he was presented with an open letter condemning the abduction of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frankel by terrorists last week, and calling for their immediate release.
The Conference, has been hosted every year since 1985, and is hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel in collaboration with the Union of Local Authorities in Israel and the American Council for World Jewry. It brings together mayors from around the world to discuss shared concerns and ways to improve lives for residents.
The focus of this year's Conference is "Urban Innovation", with a particular focus on issues such as energy efficiency, water management and cyber security.
Following is an excerpt from the letter:
"We, the undersigned mayors from the cities representing diverse communities around the world, call on any and all involved in the disappearance of the three Israeli boys Naftali Frankel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach – to release them immediately, without conditions and safely return them to their families."
"We were all saddened and deeply disappointed to learn of the boys' abduction as kidnapping as well as taking hostages is a violation of the international law."
It is our firm belief that at no time and under no circumstance should children become the victims of such an inhumane and unjust way of action.
As adults, we have a moral responsibility to protect all children and ensure their safety and security.
Again, with that in mind, we call on all involved to immediately release, without conditions and safely return the three boys."
The conference is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the union of Local Authorities and the American Council for World Jewry. Among the participants this year are – inter alia – the mayors of Berlin, Frankfurt, Buenos Aires, Sarajevo, Marseilles, Nice and Entebbe.