JERUSALEM (JTA) — The mother of kidnapped Israeli teen Naftali Frenkel told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva that every boy and girl deserves to come home to their families.
“It is wrong to take children – innocent boys and girls – and use them as instruments in any struggle,” Rachel Frenkel told the council on Tuesday morning at the end of its quarterly debate on agenda item 7, the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories. It is the only permanent item on the council’s agenda.
Frenkel was joined at the Human Rights Council in Geneva by Bat-Galim Shaar and Iris Yifrach, the mothers of the other two boys, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach, who were kidnapped from a junction in Gush Etzion as they returned home from school on Dec. 12.
“Much more can be done and should be done by everyone,” Frenkel told the council. “I ask everyone to do whatever they can to bring back our boys.”
Frenkel said that Naftali sent a text message telling her that he was on his way home, and “since then we have heard nothing,” she told the council.
“Every mother’s nightmare is waiting and waiting for her son to come home,” she said. She described the boys to the council.
Frenkel took the floor during the time slot allotted to the NGO UN Watch.
Prior to her speech, member countries of the council criticized Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians, referring specifically to the operation in the West Bank in recent days to locate and recover the teens, but without mentioning the kidnapping. The mothers sat among other NGO speakers who also rebuked Israel, including accusing it of war crimes.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council on Monday failed to agree on a statement condemning the kidnapping of the Israeli teens and “deploring” the deaths of 6 Palestinians during Israeli military operations to locate and return the teens.
Jordan reportedly wanted stronger language regarding the deaths of the Palestinians, and the United States said it would not approve a statement that directly criticized Israel.