A community candlelight vigil on behalf of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers will be held from 7-8 tonight in the Pan Pacific Park Amphitheatre.
Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel, who has both U.S and Israeli citizenship, disappeared June 12 while hitchhiking home from the yeshivas they attended on the West Bank.
"We are holding this rally so that our family in Israel knows that Los Angeles is united in caring for the well-being of Gilad, Naftali and Eyal," said Jay Sanderson, president and CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, which is organizing the vigil.
"In this time of crisis, our community is coming together as one to show the world the strength of the Jewish people and demonstrate our unwavering support for Israel."
Leehy Shaer, an aunt of Gilad Shaar, Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Israeli Consul General David Siegel and members of the clergy from several faiths are set to attend the vigil.
The teenagers were kidnapped by members of the armed wing of the Gaza Strip-based party Hamas, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Hamas, a militant Islamic organization that has refused to recognize Israel, is now a faction in the Palestinian Authority government.
Israeli military and security forces have conducted what Netanyahu has described as "an extensive wave of arrests" and operations against Hamas members in the West Bank "in order to bring the abducted youths home."
—City News Service