In a phone interview with Townsquare Media on Monday, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, spoke about the murder of three teens in the West Bank and Israel’s response options.

Ron Dermer, Israel's Ambassador to the U.S. (Allison Shelley/Getty Images)
Ron Dermer, Israel's Ambassador to the U.S. (Allison Shelley/Getty Images)

A feverish search for three missing Israeli teens ended in tragedy earlier in the day when they were found murdered in the West Bank. Hamas militants are alleged to be behind the killings.

“It’s a day of great mourning in Israel right now, great grief," Dermer said, "and I think everyone who is a parent and who has children can understand what this means, when you have teenagers who were kidnapped and essentially executed by Hamas members.”

The ambassador added, “The Israeli security cabinet is meeting to decide what actions we need to take now.”

The teens, Eyal Yifrah, 19; Gilad Shaar, 16; and Naftali Fraenkel, 16, had dual citizenship in both Israel and the US. They went missing earlier this month while hitchhiking in the West Bank. Their bodies were found by civilian volunteers in a field north of Hebron, according to a report by FOX News.
Israeli security will also decide what message to send to Hamas to make it clear that the kidnapping and murders are totally unacceptable, Dermer said, adding that Israel will do whatever it needs to do to defend its citizens.

“We live in a very tough neighborhood and Israel has to make sure that we’re strong and we’re taking the actions that are necessary to protect ourselves and also to prevent these types of actions from happening in the future," Dermer said. "You want to deter these actions. You also want to dismantle terror networks."

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