WASHINGTON, June 30 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama urged restraint following the discovery on Monday of three dead Israeli teenagers who had been abducted two weeks earlier.
"The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms this senseless act of terror against innocent youth," the president said in his statement.
The bodies of Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Frenkel, 16, were found in an open field north of the city of Hebron in the West Bank. They disappeared June 12 or June 13, the Israeli military said previously, causing speculation the Palestinian Sunni organization Hamas was involved in their abduction.
"From the outset," Obama underlined, "I have offered our full support to Israel and the Palestinian Authority to find the perpetrators of this crime and bring them to justice, and I encourage Israel and the Palestinian Authority to continue working together in that effort. I also urge all parties to refrain from steps that could further destabilize the situation."
Obama also conveyed his sympathy to the families of the teenagers and reflected "As a father, I cannot imagine the indescribable pain that the parents of these teenage boys are experiencing."
"As the Israeli people deal with this tragedy, they have the full support and friendship of the United States," the president said.