The funeral and more condolences

July 2, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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President Shimon Peres spoke at the funeral of Naftali. Gilad and Eyal…the three Israeli teenagers murdered almost three weeks ago.


President Shimon Peres talks at the funeral service   Pic: Israeli Government Press Office

Prime Minister, Ministers, Rabbis, Knesset Members, Officers and soldiers of the IDF, citizens of Israel.

Today we lay to rest Naftali, Gilad and Eyal. Three wonderful boys, a part of the Jewish people. It has been 18 days and 18 nights that I, like all of you, was sick with worry. 

We prayed, each of us alone and all of us together, for a miracle. We prayed that that we will seem them return in peace to the families, to their homes and to us all. Sadly we were hit by the tragedy of their murder and a deep grief enveloped our people.

We are an ancient people, united and deeply rooted. Our story is full of tears but the soul maintains the Torah. These three boys exposed the depth of our people and the heights it can reach. A nation with a soul that yearns. A nation which demonstrates resilience like no other. A nation that even in its years of exile, never lost its way.

A nation blessed with mothers like Rachel, Bat Galim and Iris. Dear mothers, your voices united a nation and educated a generation. You, the mothers and fathers, raised children that Israel can be proud of.  You inspired in them a love of their people. A love of Torah and a love of the land. You instilled in them devotion and a love of mankind.

Naftali, Gilad, Eyal, Many of us saw only small snapshots of your personalities, of who you were. From those snapshots a beautiful picture developed of confident young boys, sure of their way, in service of their people. Youngsters with radiant faces, who stood tall. With a thirst for knowledge and a knowledge of prayers. Sure of their purpose and fulfilling the commandments. You showed the face of our people with a bright and painful light, our unity and its morality. The victories of Israel, not only the eternity of Israel.

We also saw our soldiers, the IDF, the Shin Bet, the police, the border police and the volunteers, with focus in their eyes. Climbing over rocks with legs that did not slow. A sense of mission in a military uniform. I know that you will find the murderers, and they will be punished.  Israel will act with a firm hand until terror is uprooted. To those who celebrate our suffering, I say that terrorism aimed at us, hurts those who dispatch it.

Gilad, Naftali, Eyal. Wonderful boys, sons of the whole nation. Rest in peace. We will bow our heads but our spirit will not break. Dear families, I know your suffering and I also know how you dealt with, you turned your grief into a source of hope for the whole nation. May you find comfort in in the building of Zion and Jerusalem. May you know no more grief. May their memories be blessed for eternity.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said last night  at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, made the following remarks before the start of the Security Cabinet meeting:

“This evening we buried our boys – Naftali, Gilad and Eyal, may G-d avenge their blood.

The entire nation supports the families and the entire nation is united in our struggle against murderous terrorism. We are fighting it decisively and with determination.

We have three tasks:

First, to reach the murderers and all those who participated in the kidnapping. Whoever was involved in the kidnapping and the murder will bear the consequences. We will neither rest nor slacken until we reach the last of them and it does not matter where they will try to hide. We will reach them all even if it takes time. This is our first  goal and it will be carried out.

Second, we must vigorously strike at Hamas members and infrastructures in Judea and Samaria. We have already arrested hundreds of Hamas activists. We have closed dozens of institutions. We have demolished homes. We are still active.

Third, is that we must act against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Hamas is continuing to encourage the abduction of our citizens and it is directly responsible for firing rockets and mortars at our territory, including in the past few hours. The IDF has been active in recent days against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip and here as well we are still active. If need be, we will expand the campaign.

Anyone who thinks that they can achieve anything by using terrorism against us will continue to be mistaken and will achieve the opposite results.

Hamas is responsible. Hamas will pay and Hamas will continue to pay. We are acting with determination, sagacity and responsibility with the top consideration – of myself, the Defense Minister and the Chief-of-Staff – being to ensure the security of Israel’s citizens.”

The Israeli Embassy Canberra:

The State of Israel is in mourning following the discovery of the bodies of the three kidnapped teenagers, Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Sha’er and Naftali Frenkel who were brutally murdered by Hamas terrorists.

The State of Israel and the Jewish people are standing in solidarity with the grieving families of these boys.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated, “On behalf of the entire Jewish People, I would like to tell the dear families – the mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, and brothers and sisters – we are deeply saddened, the entire nation weeps with you”. He went on to say that “Hamas is responsible – and Hamas will pay. May the memories of the three boys be blessed”.

President Shimon Peres captured the mood of the nation saying, “all of Israel bows its head today. For 18 days we hoped and prayed with one voice that we would find the boys safe and well. With this bitter news all of Israel mourns their deaths. Along with our deep sense of loss we remain committed to bringing the terrorists to justice. Our resolve in the fight against terror will only strengthen and we will ensure that murderous terrorism of this sort will not dare to rear its head again.”

We believe that it is the right of every Israeli to feel safe and to be safe across the nation.

Whilst saddened by the untimely loss, our resolve must be to maintain composure and to ensure those responsible pay the price for such a heinous crime.

Today we have been made to feel vulnerable by this malicious and unprovoked action, conducted by Hamas terrorists against school-aged boys.

Eyal, Gilad and Naftali are children of Israel, they are all of our sons and brothers.

It is the first priority of every nation to protect its citizens in the face of wanton acts of aggression. Israel will not stand idly by and allow our children to be targets for hateful acts of terrorism by Hamas.

 Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors & Descendants [George Foster]:

When the news of the kidnapping of three Israeli youths became known the Jewish community prayed for their swift and safe return to their families. We could not contemplate the tragic truth that we now know that these innocent, spiritual and holy young boys were murdered soon after they were taken. I know that I speak for Survivors of the Shoah and their families who have themselves experienced terror and death of their family and friends by those who wish the destruction of Jewish life.

We empathise with the victims, Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel, and their families in their time of grief. It is unbearable to lose a child at any age but more so when it has happened in such tragic circumstances at the hands of unfeeling terrorists. All thinking people condemn this monstrous act and we pray that the perpetrators will be brought to justice in a swift and timely manner. We also pray that the ongoing hostility will wane, that Hamas terrorism will be defeated and we pray that there will be peace for the sake of our children and all who come after them.

The NGO Monitor :

NGO Monitor joins the families, citizens of Israel, the Jewish people, and their supporters in mourning the deaths of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach. We condemn the cold-blooded murder as a heinous war crime and violation of the most basic human values. We also reject immoral efforts to compare this unspeakable act of pure hatred and evil to legitimate self-defense against the perpetrators of aggression.

Many NGOs that claim a human rights mandate have failed to unequivocally condemn the kidnapping and murder of three innocent Israeli youths. This is a rejection of the universality of human rights and a betrayal of the values these groups supposedly champion.

NGO Monitor also calls on NGOs and their funder-enablers to examine their agendas and activities. The glaring absence of support for the human rights of Israelis among the vast public funds from European governments provided to NGOs is a deep moral stain.


The South Australian Jewish Community [Rabbi Kaminsky]:

On this terrible day, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of Eyal Yiftach z”l, Gilad Shaar z”l and Naftali Frankael z”l. Our hearts are breaking as we are shattered by their loss. Please know this sorrow has touched the Jewish people all the way to the ends of the earth. May their memories be a blessing and a source of comfort to all those who loved them, and may the Source of Mercy comfort those who mourn their loss amidst all mourners of Zion.

JNF New Zealand [Rachel Korpus]:

At a loss for words to describe the shock & sadness at the news today. My heart goes out to the families of these young boys. For all the people of Israel, our brethren,  another dark day in our shared history.

The Zionist Council of Victoria [Sam Tatarka]:

Words fail to adequately describe the sense of loss and devastation we all feel on hearing the much feared news that Eyal Yifrach, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel were murdered and buried in a shallow grave shortly after they were kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists 18 days ago.  President of the ZCV Sam Tatarka said “The three boys were making their way home from school when their lives were taken and the lives of their families changed forever.  The perpetrators of this monstrous crime will surely be brought to justice however nothing will fill the void in the hearts of those who loved them”.

The Zionist Council of Victoria mourns the loss of these boys.  The solidarity of the Jewish people and our friends and supporters from the community at large offers some solace in the face of this terrible evil.

The Australian Jewish Democratic Society [Keren Rubenstein]:

The AJDS deplores the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli young men and the terrible sadness for their families. We hope that the criminals are caught and punished.
We must also not forget that Palestinians have been killed during Israeli operations, and that their families equally grieve with great sadness.
In this period of great anger, the AJDS is deeply concerned with calls for vengeance by Israeli MPs. We call on all people, including politicians and community leaders, to take immediate action to avoid further violence and suffering. May the memories of all who have been killed remind us to quickly take the necessary steps to create justice and peace

The Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies [Jason Steinberg]:

The Queensland Jewish community and people of goodwill everywhere, have been shocked by the tragic news of the horrific murder of three Israeli teenagers.

We express our profound condolences to their families and to the people of Israel.

Although no one has yet admitted responsibility for this heinous crime, Hamas and other Islamist groups make no secret of their true goal, which is to subject Israel’s majority Jewish population to murder and forcible expulsions.

This cold-hearted murder reminds us all of where the consistent demonisation and dehumanisation of Jews and Israelis by extremist Palestinian leaders and media can lead.

May the memory of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali be a blessing to their families and all the people of Israel.

We invite the Jewish community of Queensland, along with friends and supporters of Israel, to join with us at a memorial service for Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel, and Eyal Yifrach.

Please make every effort to attend as we honour their memory and continue to pray for peace in Israel and across the Jewish world.

When: Sunday 6 July 2014 from 2:30pm

Where: Jewish Community Centre, Burbank


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