The Slatest

Israel Kills Two Suspects in Kidnapping That Ignited Gaza Violence

A fire at the house where Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Aisha were reported killed.

Ammar Awad/Reuters

Israeli forces have killed the two alleged perpetrators of the June kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers that precipitated this summer’s violence in Gaza. The teenagers were kidnapped while hitchhiking in the West Bank on June 12; their bodies were found 18 days later. Suspects Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Aisha were killed overnight in a firefight in the West Bank city of Hebron. 

Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Peter Lerner said Tuesday morning that both suspects were killed in the shootout; Hamas later confirmed this. 

The Shin Bet said that the two suspects, Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Aisha, were hiding in a house in the West Bank. Israeli forces approached the house with an excavator vehicle and fired a rocket at the house, according to Palestinian reports.

A third man who helped organize and finance the kidnapping was arrested and indicted earlier this summer. All the suspects related to the kidnapping are affiliated with Hamas, though it’s not clear whether their plans were known to the group’s senior leadership.