NOF AYALON, Israel — Flood lights illuminate the entrance to the Fraenkel family home.
What used to be a private residence in the comfy, conventional suburb of Nof Ayalon, located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, has become the much-frequented center of public scrutiny.
Members of parliament and other notables wander in and out. Uniformed cops loll about. A smoky cloud engulfs some journalists across the street.
Everyone has come because of the Fraenkel's son Naftali. Everyone, that is, except the 16-year-old himself.
He remains lost along with two of his friends, Gilad Shaar, also 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19. The three vanished after thumbing a ride home from the Jewish seminary where they study on Thursday night.
The kidnapping seems like all anyone can talk about in Israel and Palestine. Many speculate as to the political implications.
Others talk about Naftali, who is "a redhead both in person and in personality," according to his uncle Yishai.
Naftali is the second of Rachel and Avi Fraenkel's seven kids. He "is both fun and serious," according to his aunt Ittael. He's "a fun, sweet boy with a serious mien," she said.
And he is missed.
On Tuesday morning, the boys' families gathered for the first time together, appearing outside the Fraenkel residence tight with fear but brave and composed, to speak to their sons, in case they are being held in a place with media access.
"We just wish to hug our children at home," Rachel cried.
Three days after the boys disappeared, the Israeli government announced that they had been abducted by Hamas. A Palestinian Authority source told the Times of Israel that intelligence appears to confirm that assessment.
If that's proven to be true, the boys' unfortunate hitchhike could provoke the undoing of the Palestinian unity government established by Hamas and Fatah, a moderate, Ramallah-based party, less than two weeks ago, rendering the agreement "null and void."
The kidnapping of the three boys has overshadowed all other news in Israel and in Palestine, where Israeli forces have so far arrested more than a hundred people and have all but laid siege to the city of Hebron, where it is suspected the kidnappers came from.
The Fraenkels are a close-knit tribe. Rachel's parents immigrated to Israel from Brooklyn in the 1950s. Both of Naftali's grandfathers are world-renowned in their fields. Professor Aviezri Fraenkel, a pioneer in computer science, has won Israel's highest civilian honor, the Israel Prize. Professor Shmuel Sprecher, 85, was recently inducted into the Israel Chemical Society.
Ittael, Rachel's older sister, translates her Hebrew name as "God with her." "I hope God will be with Naftali," she said, and shuddered.
No one wants to talk about previous abductions in Israel that each in their own way ended badly and left the country scarred.
In July 1994, Arik Frankenthal, a 19-year-old Israeli soldier, was kidnapped and swiftly murdered by Hamas.
Nachshon Wachsman, also a 19-year-old soldier, was kidnapped by a Hamas cell in October 1994, held for six days, videotaped bound and crouched, and killed in a botched rescue attempt.
Wachsman's dad, Yehuda, said that this recent kidnapping "throws us right back into the trauma and the helplessness, the suffering and anxiety and worry and anger all over again."
Frankenthal's dad, Yitzhak, said people are approaching him now to convey their sympathy "with my old wound."
"One of the few wonderful things that emanate from this tragedy is the solidarity of the people — but it is a pity it is expressed in moments of tragedy and not in the understanding that we have to end the Israeli-Palestinian situation," he added.
There is of course also the case of Gilad Schalit, another 19-year-old soldier kidnapped by Hamas, who was held for five years before being released in 2011 in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners — one of whom, as it happens, was jailed for Wachsman's murder.
The Schalits are opting not to speak out publicly at the moment. "It just won't be helpful," said Noam Schalit, Gilad's dad. "We hope the boys come back quickly and safe. That's all."
A Fraenkel neighbor arriving home late Monday night, laden with supermarket bags, excused herself as she negotiated the scrum.
She wouldn't identify herself, saying only, "I simply can't speak about it. Naftali is a young boy, in school. We are all just normal people."