The worst fears of the residents of West Bank came true with the discovery of the bodies of three Israeli teens, reported missing for the last couple of weeks. Security agencies are on the lookout for two suspects while a divided government is trying to hold a meeting to study ways to respond. The residents of West Bank are waiting for another round of punishing retribution by the Israeli forces. .
The three teenagers Eyal Yifrah, 19, from Elad, Gilad Shaar, 16, from Talmon, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16, from Nof Ayalon were missing since June 12th. Their bodies were found under a pile of rock on Monday north of the Palestinian town Halhul, just north of Hebron. The three teens were laid to rest side by side on Tuesday.
Israel launched massive air strikes against 34 targets which it designated as terror related sites. Another Palestinian was killed in clashes with Israeli security forces.
The teens who went missing from the Gush Etzion intersection provoked the IDF to launch Operation Brother’s Keeper as its forces swept across West Bank searching for the missing teens and also conducted operations against Hamas which it said was behind the kidnapping.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon on Tuesday morning vowed to capture the kidnappers. “We see Hamas as responsible for the kidnapping and the murder, and we will know how to settle the score with it. We will continue to pursue the murderers of the teens and we shall not rest or be still until we lay hands on them. And so it will be,”
Two West Bank Palestinian men affiliated with Hamas, Amer Abu Aysha and Marwan Kawasme have been identified by Israel’s Shin Bet security service and the Israel Defense Forces as persons behind the kidnapping and the killing of the teens.
The suspects who were living in Hebron have been missing since the kidnapping and the IDF has demolished a portion of Abu-Eisha’s home. The kidnappers are believed to have left Hebron area and are hiding elsewhere.
Israeli Defense Forces have also stated that a Palestinian in Jenin was killed by Israeli soldiers after he threw a grenade at them as they searched the refugee camp.