JERUSALEM: The Israeli army said yesterday that it had destroyed the homes of two of three Palestinians suspected of involvement in the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June.
Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaer and Eyal Yifrach disappeared from a hitchhiking stop in the southern West Bank on June 12 and their bodies were found June 30, with Israel blaming Hamas militants. The incident triggered a series of events which led to the currently bloody standoff in Gaza where Israel and Hamas have been locked in a violent confrontation for more than a month.
Israel has named three Palestinians from the southern city of Hebron as being behind the abduction — Hossam Qawasmeh, who was arrested in July, and Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Eisha — both of whom are still at large.
“Overnight, as part of the ongoing mission to combat terror in the region, security personnel demolished the residences of Hossam Qawasmeh, and Amer Abu Eisha, and sealed off the residence of Marwan Qawasmeh in Hebron,” an army statement said.
The homes of Marwan Qawasmeh and Abu Eisha had been partially destroyed by the army on July 1, a day after the teens’ bodies were found, Palestinian witnesses said at the time.
At the scene, witnesses confirmed the demolition of two of the houses and said a third had been sealed off with concrete.