An official gag order on a portion of the tape of the call for help from one of the kidnapped teens to the police on June 12 was lifted on Wednesday, further adding to the horror and anguish that has engulfed the nation.
The terrorists who murdered three Israeli teens shortly after abducting them broke out into celebratory singing after shooting them dead. The shots can be heard on the tape, as well as the singing, and one of the killers saying in Arabic, “We got three.”
Dispatch operators at the police emergency call center had remained on the line, trying to get a response from the other end.
The latest revelation appeared to put to rest speculation that the terrorists had not originally intended to kill them but panicked after they caught the boy, Gilad Shaar, making the call.
The recording was leaked to the public on Tuesday. It was previously under a gag order, but after the recording started circulating on social media, the gag order was partially lifted.
The 2 minute, 9 second call, which was received at 10:25 p.m. on June 12, was not given the proper urgency and handed over to security services until about five hours later, when one of the boy’s parents reported him missing.
Israeli police have come under heavry criticism for the failure, and four officers were dismissed from their posts in a disciplinary action on Monday.
Meanwhile, in Washington, the U.S. confirmed that it is in possession of strong evidence that Hamas was at least implicated in the kidnapping, even if it was not directly responsible.
“There are many indications as part of this investigation that Hamas may have been involved,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said. “I am not at this point saying they were responsible.”
Harf noted also that Hamas has praised the kidnapping, but she urged restraint on both sides.