Sen. Cruz Demands Release of Kidnapped Israeli Teens: 'Hamas...Give Those Boys Back Now.'
It's been two weeks since the abduction of three Israeli Yeshiva students in the West Bank. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) stood before photos of the kidnapped boys on the Senate floor on Thursday and gave an impassioned plea for their release.
Just imagine if these were your children...or any child you know. Just imagine if it was your child who was kidnapped for 14 days and you don't know where they are or even whether they are still alive. These boys, all smart, hard-working, diligent students were taken on their way home from school. They were waiting at the bus stop. They were only 5 minutes away from their school -- one of the finest Yeshivas in all of Israel. These boys weren't doing anything wrong. They are innocent school children.
Cruz noted that Israel's Shin Bet has identified two Hamas members as key suspects in the abduction, which he said is "business as usual" for the "violent terrorist organization."
These two individuals are members of Hamas, a vicious terrorist organization that seeks Israel’s destruction and has launched thousands of rockets into Israel, killing innocent civilians. Those rockets have also killed dozens of Americans in Israel. Now they have kidnapped three schoolboys. Sadly, this is business as usual for Hamas. This is the same terrorist organization with which the Palestinian Authority recently joined in a so-called “unity” government. There can be no more illusions that Hamas has any role in any future government formed by the Palestinian Authority. They must not receive any further recognition or legitimization. Hamas is a violent terrorist organization ready and eager to brutalize the most innocent. Hamas is a terrorist organization that kidnaps three innocent school boys.
Sen. Cruz demanded that Hamas return the boys -- Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrah, and Gilad Shaer -- to their families.
Hamas, give the boys back. Hamas, give those boys back now. The full weight of the world should bear down on Hamas to give them back safely and immediately. If they do not, we should use all of the available means to stand unequivocally with Israel for however long it takes to find these boys and to bring them home. These are teenagers who were targeted for who they are, who have done no wrong, who have done nothing that comes near to deserving what has happened to them that day while waiting at the bus stop to go home from school.
Cruz said that since the kidnappings, there have been no pictures or videos of the boys. Their families have received no word about their whereabouts or their conditions. He asked Americans to pray for the missing young men.
It's easy for us to become desensitized to violence. Desensitized to terrorism. It's easy for us to forget that these are three teenage boys whose families desperately want their boys back. I ask that all of us lift them up in prayer. I pray for their safe return. I pray that they will soon be home with the families, who so dearly love them and miss them. And I pray that God will cover them with a shield of heavenly protection. And I pray that America will stand strong -- will shine a light and do everything possible to apprehend the terrorists and bring these boys home.