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June 30, 2014

Minneapolis, MN – The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul, the Minneapolis Jewish Federation and the Minnesota Rabbinical Association (MRA) condemn the murder of the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers, one of whom is a U.S. citizen.

Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) issued the following statement today on behalf of the JCRC, the Jewish Federations and the MRA in response to this horrific murder:

"The Jewish Communities’ of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota thoughts and prayers are with the families of the three Israeli teenage students who were murdered by their abductors. We mourn the deaths of Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Fraenkel (a U.S. citizen), 16, and Gil-ad Shaar, 16. May their memories be a blessing.

"We stand in solidarity with the people of Israel – particularly the families of these murdered teenagers – in condemning these horrific murders. The safety of our children, and we regard these Israeli teenagers as our own, is of paramount concern and we are devastated that once again they have become victims of terrorism. During difficult times like this we are reminded of the importance of a global Jewish network to support our extended Jewish family in Israel and across the world.

"If, as Israel has claimed, Hamas is responsible for this heinous act, then, as per the recent unity agreement, the Palestinian Authority (PA) government must be accountable as well. Instead of joining in a unity agreement with terrorists, Palestinian leadership should be negotiating with Israel for peace.

"We stand behind Israel as its military conducts operations consistent with the gravity of this crime."

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