Israeli Mothers Hold Solidarity Rally for Kidnapped Teens

Parents of kidnapped Israeli schoolboy Gilad Sha'ar thank mothers for solidarity as government reacts to public pressure over IDF operation.

Contact Editor
Yoni Kempinski and Ari Soffer,

Mothers rally in solidarity with kidnapped te
Mothers rally in solidarity with kidnapped te
Yoni Kempinski

Dozens of Israeli mothers gathered at Shilat Junction near the central Israeli city of Modi'in Wednesday, in a show of solidarity for the three Israeli teens kidnapped by terrorists two weeks ago.

One of the organizers of the rally, Tamar Lustman, said mothers had gathered from towns and communities throughout the area, including from Nof Ayalon and Talmon, the hometowns of the Frenkel and Sha'ar families respectively, whose 16-year-old sons Naftali and Gilad are among the captive boys.

During the course of the rally Gilad Sha'ar parents met with protesters and thanked them for their support. They were on their way back from the Knesset, where his mother Bat-Galim made an emotional appeal for the government to reconsider scaling-back Operation Brother's Keeper.

Gilad Sha'ar's parents thank mothers for support Yoni Kempinski

On Tuesday, the decision was made to wind down the IDF's offensive operations against Hamas, and to focus solely on the search for the kidnapped teens in the Hevron area. The decision was reportedly made due to concerns that disturbing Muslim residents during the month of Ramadan could raise tensions, and as a result of international pressure. 

But the announcement angered many Israelis, who questioned why security forces should let Hamas off the hook out of fear of offending Muslim sensibilities while three Jewish Israeli citizens languish in captivity.

Her appeal appears to have worked; just hours later the Security Cabinet reversed its decision to limit the scope of the operation and announced that it would continue at full-throttle.


Picture credit: Yoni Kempinski