The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos

03:01, Jul 03 2014
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
Where to begin? The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is decades old, with roots stretching through the centuries, but the present crisis was triggered when three Israeli teenagers, pictured, were kidnapped by unknown assailants in the West Bank on 12 June 2014.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
We now know they were killed soon after, in the back seat of the car that picked them up. They were, left to right, Naftali Frenkel, 16, Gilad Shaer 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19. The trio were hitchhiking, and called the police when they realised what was happening, but the call was interpreted as a prank. The car was subsequently torched.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
The kidnapping and execution, whilst clearly a crime, cannot be separated from their wider context. "Tensions" - a catch-all phrase for military occupation, sporadic fighting, and protests - were already very high between Israel and Palestine. Israeli settlement of the West Bank, illegal under international law, has continued apace in recent years, with talks between the two nations stalling.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
The three students were kidnapped just outside of Hebron, a West Bank city where 20 per cent of the land is controlled by only 0.3 per cent of the population - the Israeli settlers. This heavily restricts the freedom of movement of Palestinians within the city, who tell media they cannot pass through any of the ]Israeli-controlled areas of the city. An Israeli soldier stands guard in Hebron.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
At the time of the kidnapping, Arab shopkeepers in Jerusalem had shut down in solidarity with the 200 or so Palestinian prisoners held without charge by Israel, who are in the midst of a hunger strike. A protest by the families of the prisoners is shown. The hunger strike has since ended.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
The response was immediate. More that 2500 Israeli soldiers were deployed to Hebron by June 14 and at least 80 Palestinians were arrested.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
Military service is mandatory for all Israeli citizens over the age of 18, with some exceptions, with men serving three years and women serving two. This gives the Israeli Defence Force a large, well-trained reserve base.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, shown, condemned the kidnappings, as they were then known. Hamas, the Palestinian political group that Israel considers terrorists, claimed they were not responsible, but that they supported the kidnapping.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
Israel publicly blamed Hamas as a whole, but Israeli officials told Buzzfeed the attack had the hallmarks of an opportunistic unplanned attack, probably carried out by rogue Hamas-connected militants.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
As the search continued, more troops poured in, more Palestinians were arrested, and air strikes began. Here, Palestinian children search through the site of an air strike of a suspected Hamas training centre in the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
Palestinians and others began to condemn this as "collective punishment" - the punishment of an entire population for the crimes of the few, a practice banned by the Geneva Convention and generally considered a war crime.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
A three year old Palestinian girl named Jud al-Danaf died in one of the air strikes. Here, a relative carries her body to her funeral.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
Al-Danaf's sister is comforted at the funeral.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
A file photo shows Israeli military aircraft.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
By June 20, Palestinian resistance began to coalesce into protests.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
These often ended in violent clashes.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
An Israeli flag is burnt by Palestinian protester.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
A Palestinian flag is burnt by Israeli protesters.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
On June 26, Israel identified Ammar Muhammad Abu Eisha and Marwar al-Qawasmeh as the key suspects in the kidnapping. Shown here is the family of one of the suspects. The pair are still at large.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
On June 30, the bodies of three teenagers were found near Hebron.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
The funeral, held on July 1, united Israel in grief.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
Here, two of the fathers embrace besides Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
Mourners at the funeral.
The Israeli kidnapping crisis in 25 photos
The conflict is continuing with the body count disputed. At least five Palestinians are dead and at least 400 have been arrested. Some claim this escalation is useful for Israel politically, as it drives a wedge between Hamas and the more moderate Fatah party in Palestine, and spurs support for the Right wing in Israel.

With the deaths of children weighing on both sides, the tension between Israel and Palestine is immense.

Here we explain the origins of the current crisis in photos.

Warning: Gallery contains images depicting death.

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