This is very sad news and deplorable. These three teenage boys were hitchhiking and called the police with a distress call that they had been kidnapped. They had not been heard from for several weeks and have just now been found in a shallow grave north of Hebron in the Palestinian West Bank.
This is quite amazing for us since we were filming the life of Abraham in the area where they found the bodies today. We were looking for the authentic site of the Oaks of Mamre which is mentioned in Genesis 18. Two weeks ago we were in this part of the Palestinian West Bank filming those scenes for our movie.
This makes the peace process in Israel very difficult. Since the kidnappings are the result of Hamas who has just partnered with the Palestinian Authority, it will make any further discussions of peace nearly impossible in the coming months or even years.
One thing people are not mentioning is that these boys were part of families who are settlers. That means that they are Jews infiltrating and setting up settlements inside the Palestinian West Bank which is a very provocative endeavor. Settlers live in risk by the very nature of their lifestyles of trying to appropriate Palestinian lands.
However, this is no excuse for murdering three young teenagers and burying them in unmarked graves. Israel has every right to defend themselves.
I do want to make one very important comment for those who are considering a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The areas where these kidnappings took place are NOT in the itinerary where we take our groups. The holy sites in Israel that we visit are completely unaffected by this situation which is far removed from areas where we visit on pilgrimages.