On June 12, three Israeli teenagers, Eyal Yifrcah, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel, went missing and were presumed kidnapped.
The boys, who were reportedly students at a religious high school and seminary in the West Bank, were last seen hitchhiking to their homes in the Gush Etzion area – an Israeli settlement located south of Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the West Bank.
After several weeks of searching for the lost teens, their bodies were found in a field near Hebron, a militant stronghold in West Bank.
The tragic news prompted international outrage. The Vatican condemned the killing of the teenagers as a "hideous and unacceptable crime" that has brought immense pain to the families of the victims.
While Israelis all over the world expressed their grief and solidarity by holding peaceful vigils and protests, Benjamin Netanyahu adopted a far more brutal approach to convey his reaction.
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In fact, the Israeli Prime Minister’s response – or retribution – is being labeled a war crime by international human rights advocates.
Netanyahu carried out mass arrests, night-time raids and deadly firepower, leading to Israel's largest ground operation in the Palestinian territory in nearly a decade.
Although there wasn’t – and still isn’t – any “concrete evidence” linking the notorious Islamist group Hamas to the suspected abduction, the attacks were carried out by the Israeli government.
According to recent reports, at least 2,200 Palestinian homes and businesses have been ransacked while colleges and universities have been raided. Radio and television broadcasts have also been shut down in some target areas.
“As many as 400 Palestinians have been detained without charge. Six people have been killed by Israeli forces, including a 14-year-old boy, and at least 120 injured,” states World Socialist Web Site, an international news source.
On Tuesday, Israel bombed dozens of sites in the Gaza Strip.
Amnesty International accused Israel of having imposed “a number of measures that clearly constitute collective punishment on Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”
While Netanyahu’s intent to punish the perpetrators of the three slain teens is understandable as the leader of Israel, his aggressive approach toward bombing the entire Palestinian population is as inhuman.
Moreover, the Israeli Prime has an unsavory reputation of bombing Palestine with or without a reasonable excuse. He ought to act with some restraint so that people might not – as many already have begun to – accuse him of capitalizing on the deaths of the three teenagers.