The parents of abducted Israeli teenagers Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Sha'ar and Naftali Frenkel visited the hitchhiking post their sons were last spotted at near the town of Alon Shvut, in the Gush Etzion region south of Jerusalem.
While there the parents took the opportunity to thank some of the soldiers who have been working night and day to find their boys, as part of the IDF's Operation Brother's Keeper. Gush Etzion is located just north of Hevron, where a massive search operation is ongoing for the missing teens, who are believed to be held there by Hamas terrorists.
The visit comes on the same day as Naftali's mother, Rachel Frenkel, told Army Radio that she was deeply moved by the IDF's efforts to locate her son, along with the other two captive youths.
She also voiced her appreciation for the near-universal solidarity and support from Israelis across the political and religious spectrum.
"We feel embraced by many people, and we wanted that the event should be a general one that would include everyone. Our message is one of solidarity, one for all and all for one – haredi Israelis, secular Israelis, Bedouin, Druze, and Muslims who have a conscience," she said.
Speaking of the two Hamas terrorists recently named by the IDF as being behind the kidnapping, Marwan Kawasmeh (29) and Amar Abu-Eisha (33), she said "The investigators were able to find this information out very quickly ...it has been very difficult for me to look at their photos. I can see the evil in their eyes."
The parents have shows remarkable resilience in the face of the tragedy, traveling around the country to raise solidarity and even addressing the Israeli Knesset to urge every effort to find their children. Their appeal to the Knesset has been credited with reversing a decision to scale-down the operation last week.
Rachel Frenkel has been particularly vocal on the international scene; as the only fluent English-speaker among the three mothers she has given numerous English-language interviews to international media, and even addressed the UN Human Rights Council.