As it happened: Reaction to discovery of Israeli teenagers' bodies

Key points

  • The bodies of three Israeli teenagers abducted on 12 June have been found in the West Bank
  • An Israeli military spokesman said their bodies were found in a pit in a field near Halhul
  • Israel has set up blockades and closed down areas around the town, north of Hebron
  • Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Shaar, both aged 16, and 19-year-old Eyal Yifrach went missing nearby
  • Israel has accused Hamas of being behind their disappearance, a claim the group denies
  • The Israeli search operation has been one of the most intense for years (All times in GMT)

Live text

Reporting:

  • David Walker 
  • Sarah Fowler 
  • Dominic Howell 

Last updated 30 June 2014

STANDARD 17:40

The Israeli military says the bodies of three Israeli teenagers who went missing more than two weeks ago have been found in a pit near the West Bank city of Hebron.

STANDARD 17:43

Israel repeatedly accused Hamas of being behind the disappearance of the teenagers, a claim the Palestinian Islamist militant group strongly denied.

STANDARD 17:45

Reports say the Israeli army has sealed off the Palestinian town of Halhul, which is just north of Hebron.

STANDARD 17:50

The Israeli cabinet is meeting in emergency session and a statement is due shortly. The security cabinet will convene at 21:30 local time (18:30 GMT)

STANDARD 17:53

The teenagers' disappearance triggered one of the most intensive search operations by Israeli security forces in the West Bank for years.

STANDARD 17:54

Hundreds of Palestinians have been arrested since the teenagers went missing, while five have been killed in clashes with Israeli security forces over the past weeks.

STANDARD 17:59

The BBC's Yolande Knell in Jerusalem says there are reports of clashes in Halhul, which was sealed off by the Israeli military after the bodies were found in a pit outside the town.

STANDARD 18:00

Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Shaar, who were both 16, and 19-year-old Eyal Yifrach disappeared from a junction frequently used by hitch-hikers on Route 60 in the West Bank.

An Israeli woman holds a sign with the images of the three missing Israeli teenagers at a rally in Rabin Square in the coastal city of Tel Aviv on 29 June 2014

STANDARD 18:01

On Sunday, thousands of Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square to demand the release of the teenagers.

Israelis attend a rally for three missing Israeli teenagers in Rabin Square in the coastal city of Tel Aviv on 29 June 2014.