3 Kidnapped Israeli Teens Shot 10 Times — Silencer Used

U.S. Lab Reports Indicates Pre-Planned Killing

By Dan Williams

Published July 09, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

(Reuters) — Three Israeli teenagers who were abducted by Palestinians in the occupied West Bank last month were shot at least 10 times with a silenced gun in what appeared to be premeditated killings, a U.S. official involved in the investigation said.

The disclosure clashed with speculation by some Israeli and Palestinian commentators that the captors intended to take hostages for a prisoner exchange but panicked and shot them.

The killing of the three Jewish seminary students followed the collapse of U.S.-brokered peace talks in April. One of them, 16-year-old Naftali Fraenkel, also held American citizenship.

Israeli police believe the killings led far-right Jews to kidnap and burn to death a Palestinian youth in revenge, and the incident also contributed to an eruption of three weeks of clashes between Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli military.

Missing since hitch-hiking home on June 12, their bodies were discovered on June 30. Israel blamed Hamas for their deaths but the Palestinian Islamist group has neither confirmed nor denied the allegation.

One of the three Israelis, Gil-Ad Shaer, 16, telephoned police and said “They’ve kidnapped me!” after he, Fraenkel and 19-year-old Eyal Yifrah got into a car which investigators suspect was driven by a Hamas militant posing as a religious Jew. A second disguised gunman sat in the front passenger seat.

A U.S. official involved in the probe said the FBI, whose mandate includes Americans abducted abroad, received a recording of the distress call from Israel within days and sent it for audio analysis in the United States.

Distorted, tinny reports heard on the tape after an Arabic-accented male voice shouts “Head down!” in response to Shaer’s attempt to raise the alarm were found to be consistent with shots from a silenced firearm, the U.S. official said.

“There were 10 gunshots,” added the official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The use of a silencer led U.S. investigators to believe the captors planned to kill the three teenagers from the outset, the U.S. official said.

Israeli officials declined to respond to the American account of the investigation, saying it was still ongoing.

“We haven’t even caught the kidnappers yet, so we’re not going public with anything more now,” said an official with the Shin Bet security service, which is in charge of the case.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah: http://jd.fo/g4SIa
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.