Hamas suspects in slaying of Israeli teens killed

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

29 PHOTOS
Missing Israeli teens
See Gallery
Hamas suspects in slaying of Israeli teens killed
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: (ISRAEL OUT) Israelis hold a poster showing the three missing Israeli teenagers, as they attend a rally under the slogan 'Bring Our Boys Home' on June 29, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday evening for a rally calling for the release of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: (ISRAEL OUT) Israelis hold a poster showing the three missing Israeli teenagers, as they attend a rally under the slogan 'Bring Our Boys Home' on June 29, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday evening for a rally calling for the release of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: (ISRAEL OUT) Israelis hold a poster showing the three missing Israeli teenagers, as they attend a rally under the slogan 'Bring Our Boys Home' on June 29, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday evening for a rally calling for the release of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: (ISRAEL OUT) Israelis hold a poster showing the three missing Israeli teenagers, as they attend a rally under the slogan 'Bring Our Boys Home' on June 29, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday evening for a rally calling for the release of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: (ISRAEL OUT) Israelis hold a poster showing the three missing Israeli teenagers, as they attend a rally under the slogan 'Bring Our Boys Home' on June 29, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday evening for a rally calling for the release of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: (ISRAEL OUT) Israelis hold a poster showing the three missing Israeli teenagers, as they attend a rally under the slogan 'Bring Our Boys Home' on June 29, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday evening for a rally calling for the release of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: (ISRAEL OUT) Israelis hold a poster showing the three missing Israeli teenagers, as they attend a rally under the slogan 'Bring Our Boys Home' on June 29, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday evening for a rally calling for the release of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: (ISRAEL OUT) Israelis hold posters during a rally under the slogan 'Bring Our Boys Home' on June 29, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday evening for a rally calling for the release of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: (ISRAEL OUT) Israelis hold a poster showing the three missing Israeli teenagers, as they attend a rally under the slogan 'Bring Our Boys Home' on June 29, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday evening for a rally calling for the release of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: (ISRAEL OUT) Israelis hold a poster showing the three missing Israeli teenagers, as they attend a rally under the slogan 'Bring Our Boys Home' on June 29, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday evening for a rally calling for the release of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: (ISRAEL OUT) Israelis hold posters during a rally under the slogan 'Bring Our Boys Home' on June 29, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday evening for a rally calling for the release of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: (ISRAEL OUT) Israelis hold flags during a rally under the slogan 'Bring Our Boys Home' on June 29, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday evening for a rally calling for the release of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: (ISRAEL OUT) Israelis hold posters during a rally under the slogan 'Bring Our Boys Home' on June 29, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday evening for a rally calling for the release of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: (ISRAEL OUT) An Israeli woman hugs Iris Yifrah (from the back), mother of kidnapped Israeli teenager Eyal Yifrah During a rally under the slogan 'Bring Our Boys Home' on June 29, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday evening for a rally calling for the release of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: (ISRAEL OUT) Israelis hold a poster showing the three missing Israeli teenagers, as they attend a rally under the slogan 'Bring Our Boys Home' on June 29, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday evening for a rally calling for the release of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: (ISRAEL OUT) Israelis hold a poster showing the three missing Israeli teenagers, as they attend a rally under the slogan 'Bring Our Boys Home' on June 29, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday evening for a rally calling for the release of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: (ISRAEL OUT) Israelis hold a poster showing the three missing Israeli teenagers, as they attend a rally under the slogan 'Bring Our Boys Home' on June 29, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday evening for a rally calling for the release of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: (ISRAEL OUT) Israeli women attend a rally under the slogan 'Bring Our Boys Home' on June 29, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday evening for a rally calling for the release of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: (ISRAEL OUT) Israeli women pray before a rally under the slogan 'Bring Our Boys Home' on June 29, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday evening for a rally calling for the release of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: (ISRAEL OUT) Israelis hold a poster showing the three missing Israeli teenagers, as they attend a rally under the slogan 'Bring Our Boys Home' on June 29, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday evening for a rally calling for the release of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
Israeli soldiers stand next to their vehicles on June 30, 2014 in the village of Halhul, near the West Bank town of Hebron, where the bodies of the three missing Israeli teenagers were found. Israel confirmed finding the bodies of three teenagers who disappeared in the southern West Bank on June 12, blaming the Islamist Hamas movement for their kidnapping and murder. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: (ISRAEL OUT) Israelis hold a poster showing the three missing Israeli teenagers, as they attend a rally under the slogan 'Bring Our Boys Home' on June 29, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday evening for a rally calling for the release of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
An Arab Israeli protester holds stones during clashes with Israeli securituy forces following a rally in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails and against Israeli army's operation to search for the three Israeli missing teenagers on June 27, 2017 in the northern Israeli town of Umm al-Faham. After the teens disappeared while hitchhiking in the West Bank, the army launched a vast hunt for them focusing on the Hebron area, detaining hundreds of Palestinians. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD GHARABLI (Photo credit should read AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images)
An Israeli policeman stands guard next police vehicles on June 30, 2014 in the village of Halhul, near the West Bank town of Hebron, where the bodies of the three missing Israeli teenagers were found. Israel confirmed finding the bodies of three teenagers who disappeared in the southern West Bank on June 12, blaming the Islamist Hamas movement for their kidnapping and murder. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 29: (ISRAEL OUT) Israelis hold a poster showing the three missing Israeli teenagers, as they attend a rally under the slogan 'Bring Our Boys Home' on June 29, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday evening for a rally calling for the release of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
Israeli soldiers check a map at the start of a search operation in the West Bank city of Hebron on June 26, 2014, to try to locate the three teenagers the army believes were abducted by Islamist movement Hamas on June 12. Israeli Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas for condemning the alleged kidnapping of three teenagers by Hamas, but criticised his unity pact with the Islamist movement. Netanyahu spoke as Israel began to wind down a huge crackdown on Hamas, having arrested hundreds in an operation to find the youngsters who went missing in the southern West Bank nearly two weeks ago. AFP PHOTO/HAZEM BADER (Photo credit should read HAZEM BADER/AFP/Getty Images)
GAZA CITY, GAZA - JUNE 25: Palestinians attend a solidarity demonstration held for Palestinians, living in West Bank and facing Israeli soldier's detentions and oppression during the search operations for Israeli missing teens, in Gaza City, Gaza on June 25, 2014. Carrying Palestinian and Hamas flags during the demonstration, people demand to stop Israeli oppression and detentions. (Photo by Ezz Zanoun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Israeli soldiers take part in a search operation in the West Bank city of Hebron on June 26, 2014, to try to locate the three teenagers the army believes were abducted by Islamist movement Hamas on June 12. Israeli Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas for condemning the alleged kidnapping of three teenagers by Hamas, but criticised his unity pact with the Islamist movement. Netanyahu spoke as Israel began to wind down a huge crackdown on Hamas, having arrested hundreds in an operation to find the youngsters who went missing in the southern West Bank nearly two weeks ago. AFP PHOTO/HAZEM BADER (Photo credit should read HAZEM BADER/AFP/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


By IAN DEITCH

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israeli special forces stormed a West Bank hideout early on Tuesday and killed two Palestinians suspected in the June abduction and slaying of three Israeli teenagers, a gruesome attack that had triggered a chain of events that led to the war in Gaza this summer.

The deaths of the two suspects, identified by the Israeli military as well-known Hamas militants, ended one of the largest manhunts conducted by the Israeli security forces.

Eyal Yifrah, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, a 16-year-old with dual Israeli-American citizenship, were abducted on June 12 while hitchhiking home in the West Bank and killed soon afterward.

The teens' abduction and slaying prompted a large Israeli crackdown on the Islamic militant Hamas group and set off a chain of events that led to a 50-day war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

In an operation codenamed "Brother's Keeper," Israel dispatched thousands of troops across the West Bank in search of the youths, closed roads in the Hebron area and arrested hundreds of Hamas operatives throughout the territory.

The search ended July 1, when the bodies were found under a pile of rocks in a field north of the West Bank city of Hebron. Officials later said it was believed the three had been killed shortly after the abduction.

Israeli forces had been pursuing the suspects, Amer Abu Aisheh and Marwan Qawasmeh, since the abductions, said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli army spokesman.

Lerner told reporters that there was a recent breakthrough in the search that led the Yamam, a special police counter- terrorism unit, to the hideout in an area of Hebron about a week ago.

Early on Tuesday, the Israeli special forces entered the ground floor of the two-story building and killed two Hamas operatives after coming under fire, Lerner said.

The military believes both men were killed, though troops confirmed the killing of only one suspect. Lerner said the second suspect fell backward in a hail of fire and is presumed dead, though the body has not yet been recovered.

Israeli Troops Kill Hamas Men Blamed for Slaying Teens

Lerner noted the two men had been identified as the suspects early in the search, their Hamas connections were well known, and Hamas has repeatedly tried to abduct Israeli civilians and soldiers. Another three members of one the Qawasmeh family were arrested, he said.

"We were determined in bringing the ruthless murderers of Gilad, Eyal and Naftali to justice," Lerner said. "Today's successful mission brings the long-term search to an end, and the perpetrators of the crime no longer pose a threat to Israeli civilians," he said.

In Qatar, Hussam Badran, a spokesman for top Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, praised the two militants on his Twitter account. "The martyrdom of Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Aisheh came after a long life full of jihad sacrifice and giving. This is the path of resistance, which we all are moving in," he said.

Hamas denied involvement for weeks after the teens were abducted. However, during the Israel-Hamas war, an exiled Hamas leader responsible for West Bank operations acknowledged his group had been responsible for the abduction and killing of the teenagers.

In the days leading up to the start of the Gaza war in early July, a Palestinian youth was also abducted and killed in east Jerusalem by Israeli extremists in an apparent revenge attack over the teens' slaying.

RELATED LINKS:

Gaza children return to school after war
Israel military shoots down Syrian aircraft
German-US reporter held in Somalia freed

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners