The U.S. Senate has voted unanimously to require Secretary of State John Kerry to offer a monetary reward for information leading to the capture of the murderers of Naftali Frankel, Hy”d, an American-Israeli who was one of three teenagers kidnapped and murdered in June.
Frankel, 16, together with Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach, Hy”d, were abducted in the Etzion bloc on June 12. Israel has blamed Hamas for the attack, but despite a protracted manhunt, the perpetrators have yet to be apprehended.
A bipartisan companion bill filed in the House of Representatives by Congressmen Douglas Lamborn, R-Colorado, and Brad Sherman, D-California, had yet to be voted on as of Wednesday.
The Senate bill, sponsored by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, directs Kerry to “offer rewards totaling up to $5,000,000 for information on the kidnapping and murder” under the State Department’s Rewards for Justice Program, which provides financial incentives for anyone with information on terrorists targeting Americans to come forward.
The Jewish Federations of North America hailed passage of the bill: “The Senate is boldly signaling to Hamas terrorists that there are consequences for murdering American citizens,” JFNA Senior Vice President for Public Policy William Daroff told The Jerusalem Post. “This is another indicator of the unanimity of Congressional support for Israel in its battle against Iran-backed Hamas terrorists.”
Yishai Frankel, Naftali’s paternal uncle, thanked the American legislators sponsoring the two bills earlier this month.
The Senate also passed a resolution “supporting Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas” on Tuesday.