Israeli teens: Memorial services held in SA

Thousands of mourners also gathered in Israel for the burial of the three teenagers.

Mourners in the US protest after three Israeli teens were found dead. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG/MODI'IN, ISRAEL - Jewish communities around South Africa held memorial services following the deaths of three kidnapped teenagers in Israel.

The bodies of Gilad Shaair, Naftali Frankel and Eyal Yifrah were found in a field near the village of Halhul in the West Bank on Monday.

The field is not far from the area where the boys were abducted earlier this month.

Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein said memorial services are being held in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London.

He said this will send a message to like-minded terrorists that such behaviour will not be tolerated.

"There are many groups who are perpetrating terrible things in the name of God. People across the world need to rally together and say no."

Video: Missing Israeli teens mourned.


Thousands of mourners gathered on Tuesday in an outpouring of national grief for the burial of the three teenagers.

Israel bombed dozens of sites in the Gaza Strip today, wounding two Palestinians, striking at Hamas just a day after the discovery.

The Jewish seminary students went missing while hitchhiking on 12 June.

Israel blamed the abduction on Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group it vowed to punish.

Officials said Israel's security Cabinet, which held an emergency session late Monday and was due to meet again on Tuesday, was split on the scope of any further action in the coastal enclave or in the West Bank.

The United States and regional power-broker Egypt urged restraint.

I sraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised Hamas would pay.

Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon, speaking at a funeral service for one of the teens, said, "Hamas's leaders and members should know that the blood of whoever dares strike at the citizens of Israel is forfeit. They should know that we will pursue them wherever they are and hit them hard."

The military said aircraft attacked 34 targets in Gaza, mostly belonging to Hamas. Its statement did not link the strikes to the abductions. The military cited 18 Palestinian rockets launched against Israel from Gaza in the past two days.

Palestinian medics said two people were slightly wounded.

Hamas denied involvement in the disappearance of the students.

Before their joint burial in the city of Modi'in, funeral services were held outside the homes of the trio, aged 16 to 19.

"There hasn't been a show of unity like this in Israel for years," Fraenkel's father, Avraham, said at the service, as he stood facing the body of his son, which was draped with an Israeli flag.

Television and radio stations interrupted regular programming to broadcast the funerals.

"We will learn to sing without you, but we will always hear your voice within us," Naftali's mother, Rachel, said.