Obama, Cruz Offer Contrasting Statements on the Murders of Three Israeli Teenagers
Shortly after Israeli forces discovered the bodies of three kidnapped Israeli teens, President Barack Obama offered the following statement.
11:25 P.M. U.S. President Barack Obama strongly condemned the murder of the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers but called upon Israel and the Palestinians "to refrain from steps that could further destabilize the situation." Obama said: "I extend my deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel – who held Israeli and American citizenship. As a father, I cannot imagine the indescribable pain that the parents of these teenage boys are experiencing. The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms this senseless act of terror against innocent youth. From the outset, I have offered our full support to Israel and the Palestinian Authority to find the perpetrators of this crime and bring them to justice, and I encourage Israel and the Palestinian Authority to continue working together in that effort. As the Israeli people deal with this tragedy, they have the full support and friendship of the United States."
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has been a vocal critic of how Obama has handled nearly all issues, including the Middle East, terrorism and Israel. Cruz sent out this statement reacting to the killings today.
WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today released the following statement regarding news that the three Jewish teenagers who had been kidnapped by Hamas have been found dead.
“The brutal murder Hamas carried out of three innocent Jewish teenagers is a terrorist-led atrocity that demands justice,” said Sen. Cruz. “While we lift Gilad Shaer, Naftali Frankel, and Eyal Yifrach and their loving families up in prayer, we must also act. Hamas is, unequivocally, a terrorist organization with blood on its hands that must be condemned on the world stage. There should be no path forward for Hamas to have any role in any future government formed by the Palestinian Authority, and no nation should accommodate, legitimize, or negotiate with this group that engages in the killing of innocent civilians. The Palestinian Authority should immediately renounce Hamas and actively work to expel Hamas from civil society. The United States should stand unequivocally with the Nation of Israel as it responds to this brutal terrorism and acts forcefully to protect its people.”
Hamas is officially designated a terrorist group by the US State Department. President Obama refused to name them in his statement, preferring vague references instead. The kidnappers are believed to be connected to Hamas, and the group praised the kidnapping, blessed the kidnappers and claimed that the three teens were "soldiers" of Israel.
Update: Arabs threw stones and paint at the ambulance as it carried the bodies of the murdered teens.