The Jewish Federation of Las Vegas has opened a memorial fund for three Israeli teenagers found dead in the West Bank on Monday.
The teenagers, Gilad Shaar, 16, Naftali Fraenkel, 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19, disappeared while hitchhiking outside the Palestinian city of Hebron on June 12.
The Israeli military found the bodies of the three Jewish seminary students more than two weeks later, buried “under a pile of rocks” near a small village outside the city.
The Israeli government has accused Hamas, an Islamic militant group sworn to Israel’s destruction, of being behind the deaths. Hamas has denied involvement.
Jewish Federation President and CEO Elliot B. Karp said more than two dozen area synagogues plan to offer prayers to mourn the teenagers over the weekend.
“Our Jewish community is bereft with grief over the senseless murders of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali,” he said in a statement. “We offered prayers and hopes over the last three weeks that they boys would be found alive and returned safely to their parents.
“We now mourn with the families and the people of Israel; and express our condolences and sympathies in the hope that they will find comfort and solace from us and all people who abhor such violence.”
Memorial donations can be made by check or credit card to the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas, 2317 Renaissance Drive or 702-732-0556.
Karp said funds collected will be contributed to the Victims of Terror Assistance Fund of the Jewish Agency for Israel, a beneficiary of the Jewish Federation.
For more information on the memorial fund, contact Karp at 513-608-4174 or 702-479-4440.