Mother of kidnapped teen to address UN

Rachelle Fraenkel to plead for international support at Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday

Marissa Newman is The Times of Israel political correspondent.

Rachelle Fraenkel, mother of one of the kidnapped Israeli teens, speaks to CNN. (screen capture: CNN)
Rachelle Fraenkel, mother of one of the kidnapped Israeli teens, speaks to CNN. (screen capture: CNN)

The mother of kidnapped teenager Naftali Fraenkel is to address the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday and call for the immediate release of the three Israeli youths.

Rachelle Fraenkel may be accompanied by Iris Yifrach and Bat-Galim Shaar, parents of Eyal Yifrach and Gil-ad Shaar, but the two are not slated to speak at the summit.

Fraenkel is expected to appeal for international condemnation of the abduction and call for pressure to urge the kidnappers to free the yeshiva students.

The decision to appear before the summit came after hours of consultation between the Shaar, Yifrach, and Fraenkel families in the Shaar residence in the West Bank settlement of Talmon.

“We raised different ideas about future activities, and agreed on continued collaboration,” the families said in a press statement following the three-hour meeting. “We are determined to see the children return home as quickly as possible, and we will test our actions by the outcome — seeing our children again.”

Fraenkel, who is a dual US-Israeli citizen, has interviewed for major international outlets, including CNN and the Washington Post in past days, issuing a plea for worldwide support.

The three youths — Yifrach, 19, Shaar, 16, and Fraenkel, 16 — were last seen late on June 12 hitchhiking in the West Bank. Israel has maintained that the Hamas terror group is behind their abduction and has launched a massive offensive, arresting nearly 400 Palestinians and shuttering many Hamas-linked organizations as part of efforts to locate the teenagers.

Hamas has denied its involvement in the abduction, and no demands or credible claims of responsibility for the attack have been issued.

The kidnapping garnered a UN condemnation immediately following the event, but on June 17, Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said the UN had “no confirmation that we can independently make about an abduction,” in response to a question about how the UN had established that there had been a kidnapping.

On Saturday, Ban spoke to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the phone about the wide-scale arrests and “expressed concern” about the operation, which has also claimed the lives of four Palestinians in clashes with troops.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed