The UN Security Council adopted a statement condemning and expressing “profound outrage” at the murder of three Israeli teenagers.
“The members of the Security Council expressed their profound outrage at and condemned in the strongest terms the killing of three teenagers, whose bodies were discovered near the city of Hebron on 30 June,” said the statement.
Such statements are adopted by consensus through email and phone call exchanges among the 15 members of the council.
The statement extended the condolences of the members to “the families of the victims of this heinous act and to the people and Governments of Israel and the United States.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to bring to justice the murderers of Gil-ad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach, whose bodies were found Sunday, two weeks after their kidnapping. He has blamed the Hamas terrorist group for the killings. Fraenkel was a dual US citizen.
“The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators of these acts to justice and encouraged Israel and the Palestinian Authority to continue working together to do so,” said the statement, which a source said was initiated by Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations.
“They reiterated the need to take appropriate steps to ensure the safety and well-being of civilians and their protection and urged all parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law,” the statement said. “They also urged all parties to refrain from steps that could further destabilize the situation.”
The UN’s children’s rights body, UNICEF, also said in a statement that it “strongly condemns the abduction and killing of three Israeli young people in the West Bank.”
“We join the UN Secretary-General in expressing our deepest sympathy to their families,” UNICEF said. “We hope that these events will not fuel further violence. We urge all parties to exercise the utmost restraint, and do everything in their power to protect all children – Palestinian and Israeli – from harm.”