Jerusalem (Agenzia Fides) - "There is immense sadness for what happened yesterday with regards to the killing of the three teens. We are close to their families and friends, let us pray that the Lord will help them to live, to move forward, and comfort them in this great pain". With these words of condolences Father David Neuhaus, SJ, Patriarchal Vicar for Hebrew-speaking Catholics of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, expresses the feelings of Christians in the Holy Land before the killing of Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shayer and Naftali Frenkel, the three Jewish boys who disappeared near Hebron and whose lifeless bodies were found yesterday near the village of Halhul. The three young boys attended a rabbinical school in a Jewish colony.
A number of Israeli political leaders have attributed to Hamas the triple murder and have announced reprisals. During the search operations of the three kidnapped carried out by the Israeli army, already 5 Palestinians had been killed and 400 - mostly related to Hamas - had been arrested. "Now", says Fr. Neuhaus "there is also a growing fear of the reaction. We live in a cycle of violence that has lasted for decades and we fear the price that the Palestinian people will perhaps pay. We hope and pray that the leaders of the State of Israel respond with wisdom and vision of the future". According to the Patriarchal Vicar, the new spiral of violence that seems to envelop the Holy Land makes the appeals for peace and reconciliation launched by Francis Pope during and after his visit to Israel and Palestine it even more current. "The Pope", stresses Fr. Neuhaus "never said that peace has already arrived. We are not deluded, we know that violence still has dominance and what the Pope did was the attempt to suggest and open alternatives to all. We need to pray that this situation will not last permanently". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 01/07/2014)