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LA-Based Aunt Of Teen Kidnapped In Israel Speaks Out

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CHEVIOT HILLS (CBSLA.com) — Gilad Shaer is one of three Israeli teenagers kidnapped six days ago, purportedly by Palestinian terrorists.

Closer to home, CBS2′s Randy Paige spoke to his aunt Wednesday about her nephew and her family’s ordeal.

“I felt like I’m in a nightmare,” says Leehy Shaer. “I want people to wake me and tell me it’s not true, you know?”

Her nephew and two friends were kidnapped near their high school in Israel last Thursday.

“They grab them from the bus stop. They were waiting five minutes from school. Three innocent boys,” says Shaer.

The aunt says Gilad translates into “happiness forever.” She says his smile says it all.

“He’s a very brilliant guy, he’s smart, and he’s funny and he’s one boy with five sisters so he really likes to take care of them. Instead of being the spoiled child, he’s the one that takes care of them,” Shaer says.

Shaer told Paige she’s just had eye surgery. But what is hard to bear is being so far away from her family. She’s in Cheviot Hills, thousands of miles away, but she thinks about her nephew day and night.

She wants desperately to comfort his father, her brother, in Israel.

“I just want to hold my brother and hold him and hug him and tell him it’s going to be OK,” says Shaer.

“We’re seeing terrorism raise its head in different parts of the world. Whether it’s kidnapping girls in Nigeria, boys in Israel or attacking targets in Europe, we’re seeing the collapse of the Middle East,” says David Siegel, consul general of Israel based in Los Angeles.

He told Paige the world needs to take notice and fight terrorism.

“We countries of the West need to stand together and send a message that this is something that we will not tolerate,” Siegel added.

“Life can change in a second in a very secure place, [even]  in your high school,” Shaer said.

In the meantime, all the aunt can do is pray for her nephew’s safe return.

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