Long Island leaders condemned the murders of the three missing teenage boys whose bodies were discovered in Israel Monday.
The boys, Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Frenkel, 16, were kidnapped allegedly by Hamas militants on June 12, while hitchhiking home from school.
“The world is shaken by this tragic news and the Jewish community of Long Island is grateful for the support of its neighbors,” said Arthur Katz, chairman of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Long Island, in Syosset, in a statement.
“JCRC-LI appreciates the solidarity from local elected and public officials along with leaders from the Muslim, Sikh, Black and Hispanic communities during this difficult time," he added.
Since the boys were kidnapped, Long Islanders took to the streets and social media, showing their support for the teens and their families, whether it was joining the NYC Solidarity Rally with Israel or spreading the word online with #BringBackOurBoys signs.
Now they're holding memorial services for the murdered boys.
Meanwhile, local leaders expressed outrage at the grim discovery, mourning for the victims and their families.
“The senseless killing of these three young men leaves us horrified at the brutality and loss,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said.
“We mourn with the families of the dead and the people of Israel. We pray that the authorities in Israel act swiftly to bring the killers of Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Fraenkel to justice,” Bellone added.
“The tragic loss of these three teenagers is outrageous and unacceptable,” Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said. “The thoughts and prayers of my wife Linda and I go out to the families of these three young men. Those responsible for their deaths must be brought to justice and held responsible.”
"We would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to the families of the three innocent children who were killed in spite of all our efforts to save them,” said Habeeb U. Ahmed, first vice president of the Islamic Center of Long Island in Westbury. “As the Quran states in Chapter 5 and verse 32: If you kill an innocent life it is as if you killed the whole humanity."
Now JCRC-LI requests that Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, demand that Hamas locate and hand over those responsible for the teens’ kidnapping and murder.
“As Eyal, Gilad and Naftali’s families begin to mourn the loss of their sons, so too does the Jewish community on Long Island and beyond,” said David Newman, JCRC-LI executive director.
“The Jewish community is comforted by the words of support offered by leaders from Nassau and Suffolk counties," he added. "May their memories be a blessing."