Mourning death of three Israeli teens, world churches body decries all killings in region

(Photo: REUTERS / Ammar Awad)A Palestinian kicks a tire after setting it ablaze during clashes with Israeli police in Shuafat, an Arab suburb of Jerusalem July 2, 2014. The discovery of a body in a Jerusalem forest on Wednesday raised suspicions that a missing Palestinian youth had been killed by Israelis avenging the deaths of three abducted Jewish teens. Rock-throwing Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces in Jerusalem after the news, but no serious injuries were reported.

The World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit has expressed deep sorrow over the killing of three Israeli teenagers whose bodies were recovered on June 30 and denounced all violence resulting in killings in the region.

But a Middle Eastern participant at the meeting of the WCC's main governing body its central committee Wednesday asked Tveit to added the abduction and killing of a Palestinian boy in Israel on Wednesday.

Speaking in a session of the committee, which is made up of 150 members from WCC churches all over the world, Tveit noted his pastoral letter condemned all Middle East killings and not just that of Israelis.

Tveit said in his July 1 letter, "No parent, of any creed or country, be it in Israel or Palestine, or in the neighbouring countries of Syria and Iraq, should have to experience such anguish."

He added, "And yet the violence continues, with inadequate steps toward the resolution of conflict and the prevention of needless death."

Referring to the three Israeli teenagers killed, Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrah, Tveit said, "We pray for their families, all their friends and the extended community that grieves their loss."

On behalf of the WCC, Tveit said, "I again express the sorrow we feel, a sorrow felt across national borders and differences in religion and culture, at the suffering and loss of life in Israel and Palestine."

On Wednesday, the United State deplored the killing of the 17-year-old Palestinian and the Inter Parliamentary Union denounced the killings of the Israeli and Palestinian teenagers.

Deploring the killings the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) called "for restraint in response to the escalating violence."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the killing of the Palestinian boy "sickening" while the U.N. demanded justice over the "despicable act", the BBC reported.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the killing of the Palestinian teen as "despicable" and said he had ordered police to work "as quickly as possible to find out who was behind the heinous murder of the youth."

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