Israelis and Palestinians take to Twitter over settlers disappearance

Ahram Online, Thursday 19 Jun 2014

Activists create #‎bringbackalltheboys hashtag to highlight plight of 300+ Palestinian minors in Israeli jails

Israeli soldiers searching for the kidnapped youths on the outskirts of Hebron, June 2014. (Photo:AP)

Just hours after the teenagers' disappearance was made public on Friday, Israeli activists set up a Facebook page called #BringBackOurBoys, which by Wednesday had received nearly 100,000 "likes."

It is a reference to the three kidnapped teens: Eyal Yifrach, 19, and Gilad Shaar, 16, both Israeli, and Naftali Frenkel, 16, an American citizen who was born in Israel.

Like #BringBackOurGirls, the hashtag is meant to bring attention to missing children, this time three missing yeshiva students instead of 300 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria.

The three boys went missing late Thursday from a popular hitchhiking spot near Gush Etzion settlement bloc in the southern West Bank.

On Twitter the hashtag was soon being used by pro-Palestinian activists as well, referring to Palestinian minors in Israeli prisons.

One activist tweeted "don't forget our children inside israeli jails.. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers #BringBackOurBoys."

Another tweet said: ‪"#‎Bringbackourboys: Release the 3 kidnapped teenagers - and the 300+ Palestinian minors in Israeli jail. Imprisoning children is never, ever right. ‪#‎bringbackalltheboys.”

Three Shalits

At the same time, Palestinian activists soon initiated a campaign on Facebook that caught the attention of Arabs.

The campaign is called Three Shalits in reference to Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was captured by Hamas in 2006, and was eventually released after being swapped with 1,027 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

According to a report issued November by the Palestinian prisoner support and human rights association Addameer, at least 4,996 political prisoners are currently in Israeli prisons.

As part of the campaign Palestinians are asked to take pictures holding up three fingers, to mark the three abductees.


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