Three young adults were kidnapped at a West Bank bus stop near the Palestinian city of Hebron; the boys, originally from Brooklyn, were all students at the Jewish Seminary and were, therefore, abroad to work on their studies. They were kidnapped while on their way home; two of the boys lived in Israel and one in a West Bank settlement.
According to an article recently completed by CBS New York, a candlelight vigil was held recently in Brooklyn to pray for the safe return of all three boys. Naftail Frankel, at sixteen years old, is one of the kidnapping victims; he is an American citizen whose family is originally from Brooklyn. Gilad Shaar, sixteen, and Eyal Yifrach, nineteen, were with Frankel when he was taken; they also have ties to the borough.
The event was held in front of the Jewish Children’s Museum in Crown Heights; Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and several other elected officials for the borough were in attendance. One official made a statement that kidnappings such as this shouldn’t happen in the borough and certainly shouldn’t be a concern while travelling or studying is being completed abroad. Another official was outraged, saying that children should never be used as political pawns.
These statements are prompted by the news that Israeli officials are looking into claims made by an extremist group known as Dawiat al-Islam. The group has acknowledged that they were the ones to take the children, and that the motive behind the abduction was fueled with terroristic intent. The organization is known to be associated with ISIS, the Sunni militant organization behind the current war in Iraq.