Their visit comes amid some of the worst tension in years. Ignited by the kidnapping and subsequent murder of the three Israeli teens last month, the Israeli government has responded to with a heavy-handed crackdown against Hamas in the West Bank. At the same time, Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip have increased their rocket attacks on southern Israel, firing around 130 rockets and mortars, according to the Israeli military, which has carried out precision air strikes in Gaza, including ten overnight.
"We are working on several fronts simultaneously,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the opening of Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting. “Overnight we were active against many Hamas targets in Gaza and the goal of all of our operations is to restore quiet and security to all of Israel's citizens, especially the residents of the south.”
The U.S. State Department called for a speedy investigation into the incident, saying in a statement: "We are profoundly troubled by reports that [Abu Khdeir] was severely beaten while in police custody and strongly condemn any excessive use of force."