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Jewish Community, Local Officials Mourn Israeli Teens

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Elected officials and members of the city's Jewish community turned out for another memorial service held Tuesday for three Israeli teens found dead in West Bank territory. NY1's Lori Chung filed the following report.

Mourners looked for comfort—coming together by the hundreds to remember the three teenagers killed in Israel.

"It's horrific, there's nothing anyone can say to make it better," said one mourner.

"I'm hurting with my country. I am so distraught over what happened. It's a tragedy," another said.

The crowd at the Jewish Center on the Upper West Side spilled into an overflow room and stretched around the block.

"It's great to see thousands of people who are feeling, all on a fundamental level, these are human beings, these are children, these are young innocent men," one mourner said.

Inside, the center was filled to capacity.

Three candles burned for 19-year-old Eyal Yifrah and 16-year-olds Gilad Shaw and Naftali Fraenkel, whose family once lived in Brooklyn. The teens disappeared while hitch-hiking in the West Bank.

Their bodies were found more than two weeks later.

"As parents we all hope and pray for the same thing for our children: lives of peace and happiness and security. It is indescribably painful that such is not to be for Gilad, Eyal and Naftali," said UJA-Federation of New York CEO Eric Goldstein.

"There are still people in the world that will not understand what it means to take the life of an innocent child," said Michael Nussbaum of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.

Dignitaries and local leaders were there to offer condolences.

"Please don't consider this an issue that just pains you. It scares and jolts the sense of humanity that all of us have," said Rep. Charles Rangel.

In this show of unity, there were calls for future peace.

"I think that we are all together mourning this event and hoping that it will not be repeated."

Israel now holding Hamas responsible.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is convening emergency meetings with his security cabinet to discuss possible responses. ClientIP:,, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP