The News Minute | July 1, 2014 | 01:30 pm IST
Washington: US President Barack Obama on Monday condemned the killings of three Israeli teenagers, calling on all parties to refrain from destabilising steps.
In a statement, Obama mourned the deaths of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaer and Naftali Frankel, who also held American citizenship, as their bodies were found near the West Bank city of Hebron on Monday evening, Xinhua reported.
"As a father, I cannot imagine the indescribable pain that the parents of these teenage boys are experiencing," Obama said. "The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms this senseless act of terror against innocent youth."
The teens went missing June 12, and Israel blamed Hamas militants for their abduction.
The massive searches launched since by the Israeli military in the West Bank sparked a rise in tit-for-tat violence on Israel's southern border.
Declaring that he encouraged Israel and the Palestinian Authority to continue working together to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice, Obama also urged "all parties to refrain from steps that could further destabilize the situation."
"As the Israeli people deal with this tragedy, they have the full support and friendship of the United States," the US president added.