Transcript for Bodies of Israeli Teens Found
Devin -- in New York the bodies of three Israeli teenagers believed -- kidnapped -- traveling in the Palestinian territories. I've been found. Three teens were hitch hiking in the West Bank went missing more than two weeks ago. Within the hour sources have now confirmed to ABC news that the bodies of the three teens were just discovered. North of the city of Hebron right now I want to bring an ABC's Alex far apart from our bureau in London he's been working this story. Good afternoon -- or just getting in a number of new details just a short time ago Israel's channel ten which is one of the main channels. There in Israel confirms that the bodies of the boys had been found north of the city of have run as a source had told ABC news. They were found in a cave they had not been buried in all signs are pointing -- fact. That they were killed shortly. After they had been kidnapped on their kidnapped. On June 13. Nearest settlement in the West Bank the three boys two -- 161 was nineteen years old all three -- -- -- -- students students. At a religious school and there are hitch hiking home. Into Israel when they were taken in over the course of the past two and a half weeks. The IDF and the and Israel's police have launched a wide spread. Wide scale investigation all across the West Bank searching for any clues that would lead to the discovery of these boys they held out hope that the boys. Would be found alive they focused a lot of their attention on the West Bank city of Hebron. Which is essentially dividing two between Israeli settlers. And Palestinians. And and have runs about fifteen minutes away from where the boys were kidnapped and the reason that they're focusing a lot of their -- There was because shortly after the kidnapping which happened. On a Thursday night they found a burned out vehicle that they believe belonged to the kidnappers. -- then of course this afternoon we learned that they have indeed found the bodies of these three boys. Alex were just seen some pictures from your recent reporting there we -- you been following this. Give us a sense of who found the bodies here was this the army that that was searching for them that you actually -- along with. Writes I spent some time with the IDF the Israel defense forces as they are carrying out. This search we do believe. That it was the army that that discovered the bodies this afternoon they launched an operation shortly after the boys were taken. Called brother's keeper and it were waiting for an announcement. From the from the IDF which has yet to -- The prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also convened an emergency cabinet meeting which is due to take place. At 2:30 eastern time so we're hoping that more. And we understand we should say that one of the victims here was an American teenager. What are what have we heard from the White House or State Department and on the news just developing now. Well just a short time ago the spokesman for the White House. A Josh Earnest. It said it made a comment -- -- read -- here we obviously condemn in the strongest possible terms. -- violence that takes the lives of innocent civilian so. A rather brief statement there are allowed to hear more of the White House more to the State Department in the coming hours and days. Immediately following the abduction of the boys we did -- strong statements. Out of out of Washington they did not directly blame Hamas the Palestinian militant group which Israel has blamed. For the abduction but they they did condemn deduction in the strongest possible terms. Of the three boys as you -- one was American his name was enough to -- Frankel he was sixteen years old. He got his American citizenship from his grand parents who moved to Israel. In the fifties from a Brooklyn from Flatbush in fact he hadn't lived in the states himself but he and his six siblings did happen -- And citizenship and Alexander you said they're still investigating who was behind this despite the speculation of a mosque -- still trying to connect down but. Give us give us the big picture here what does this mean. For the broader tensions between the Israelis and Palestinians we know that those peace talks that were under -- for some time had recently broken down. What do you think this incident does to that effort now. We'll certainly raises fears the -- the peace talks died in in April after nine months there was an effort that. That John Kerry and secretary of state -- frankly used quite a bit of his political capital on -- And it never really got off the ground so it's it is a highly combustible situation. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli government came out of the gate as soon as these boys were taken pinning it. On Hamas Hamas which controls the Gaza Strip not the West Bank which is controlled by the political group Fatah even though that the two have just signed. A reconciliation deal which now. Appears more fragile than ever Hamas cannot deny that they had played any role -- and people that I spoke with -- -- -- -- Israel just a short time ago. Both on the Israeli and the Palestinian side were saying. They don't believe that Hamas is an organization that the hope that it was behind -- that Hamas leadership. Planned this and and and ordered it they believe that it was Hamas militants that that that went rogue if you will. That didn't it decided to do this on their own. It was an extremely sloppy operation. And evidenced by the fact that they that they burned the car that they appeared to have killed the boys almost immediately soon after the boys were taken there was a phone call placed by one of the teenagers to the police. One of the bush is able to call out I was initially dismissed by the Israeli police as a prank call and it was only when the boys didn't return home several hours later that the police actually launched. A full scale in investigation. Along with with the military of course now the big question is how does Israel respond. Over the course the past two and a half weeks have arrested more than 320. Palestinians many of them members of Hamas. They've raided more than a thousand homes so you have a range of options are either the Israelis have a range of options of how they respond. What they could do is take a lot of the Hamas leaders that they -- gathered up in the west bank and expel them shipped them off to the Gaza Strip which as I just mentioned is. It's controlled by Hamas they could launch a much tougher crackdown to really try to decapitate. Hamas the big fear of course is that this a devolved insight into some sort of a full scale conflicts we haven't seen a really major conflict between Israelis and Palestinians since November of 2000. And twelfth. Now when there were rockets going back and forth it -- rather when rockets were being fired from Gaza. -- to Israel we've actually seen that pick up over the course the past two weeks as the Israeli authorities have been clamping down. We've seen these waves of rockets are coming out of Gaza landing -- in landing in Israel. And it which have been responded to by the Israeli Air Force and actually over the course the of this investigation to find these three boys. A seven Palestinians have been killed. Both in in clashes with the Israeli security forces and in targeted operations by the Israeli Air Force. We'll certainly be watching we understand that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened an emergency cabinet meeting. Tonight there. In Israel will be -- -- to see how they respond Alex. Want to talk group before we let you go just about why this incidence captivated so much. International attention obviously here in the states there's interest when it and American is involved it as is the case here. But well I I think it also struck many people as somewhat -- usual that these teenagers were hitch hiking. In the Palestinian territories how can you talk was about how common or uncommon it is for teens to be hitch hiking and in this part of the world. Well it's extremely common but I should say that a lot of Israelis would take issue with the term hitch hiking in fact it's it's one that I was using early on. And and I was corrected by by. An Israeli in the West -- -- said that. You know it's got this connotation certainly among Americans as is something it's potentially. A dangerous activity if you -- -- in the states you obviously run into the the possibility that that someone that will pick you up who could certainly do some harm but this is extremely common. All across the West Bank and in Israel itself. Israelis will let's stop that at what looked like bus stops but are essentially protecting posts. And -- and wait for a ride and then there's a lot of ride sharing. All across Israel and the West Bank so what these boys were doing. Was not uncommon at all I used to live in Israel ice to pick up people all the time. And take them from one city -- in an accident and so. It's it's something that is -- is very common and about what is absolutely not common you know obviously. -- but to some extent the American audience and then and we have gotten jaded about the fact that that there is this ongoing conflict that that never seems to be ending. But the but an instance like this an incident like this is really not that comment there are not. Kidnappings. Of Israelis by Palestinians. That happen very often of course that -- the -- example was -- -- chart -- young soldier who is kidnapped. Just outside Gaza by by Hamas and held for. Top five years and and released just a year and a half ago in exchange for a thousand. Palestinian prisoners and that just goes to show how. Strongly how how emotionally the Israeli public takes this one. When when some of their children. Are abducted and that's why there's a real fear right now that that in light of the fact that we've now discovered that the three boys. Were killed what the response will be and what that could mean between the Israelis and -- Students certainly a very tragic situation to for those families were just learning. That their bodies are now been identified the families had been notified. And Alex we know you'll stay on -- thank you so much Alex mark court NR ABC London bureau thanks for being here and you can follow. I continue to follow the story abcnews.com. And on our ABC news. App you can -- the story for updates in real time download it now. Thanks so much for watching I'm different wire in New York.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.