Baltics condemn murder of Israeli teenagers

  • 2014-07-01
  • From wire reports, RIGA

Baltic leaders have condemned the murder of three Israeli teenagers found dead earlier this week.

Israeli forces found the bodies of three missing teenagers on Monday, accusing Hamas of their murder and vowing to make the Islamist movement pay. But a senior Hamas official warned Israel against any reprisals, saying it would open "the gates of hell", the AFP news agency reports.

''These violent deaths are yet another vivid proof of the meaninglessness of terrorism and deadlock. Latvia strongly condemns all acts of violence and terrorism,'' the Foreign Ministry of Latvia said in a statement.

The discovery of the three bodies in a field in the southern West Bank came 17 days after the youngsters disappeared, triggering a huge manhunt during which five Palestinians were killed and more than 400 arrested.

The bodies were found in the southern West Bank near the town of Halhul, some 10 minutes drive from the roadside where they were last seen hitchhiking.

"This evening, we found three bodies and all the signs indicate that they are the bodies of our three kidnapped youngsters," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told ministers at the start of an emergency session of his security cabinet. "They were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by human animals. Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay,'' he added.