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Israel identifies Palestinian pair suspected of kidnapping youths
Published Thursday 26/06/2014 (updated) 27/06/2014 11:50
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The photo released of the pair (MaanImages).
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli military on Thursday officially identified Marwan al-Qawasmeh, 29, and Ammar Abu Eisha, 33, as the two main suspects in the kidnapping of three Israeli youths who went missing two weeks ago.

The military said in a statement that the pair, who they identified as "Hamas operatives," were behind the disappearance of the youths from the Gush Etzion settlement in the West Bank on June 13.

The military also said that the two, who are both from Hebron, were identified within 24 hours after the "kidnapping" but that they were still at large.

The military said their wives had been detained for questioning and their homes raided, adding that both of the men have previously served time in Israeli prison.

Qawasmeh was detained at the age of 18 and sentence to 10 months in jail, which he served, and was re-arrested four times in the years since, including for administrative detention.

In his last interrogation by Israeli forces in 2010, the military said, he admitted to having been "recruited to the Hamas' military arm in Hebron since 2009," and said he had undergone combat training in the Hebron area. He was then imprisoned until March 2012.

Eisha, meanwhile, was first arrested in Nov. 2005 and was held without trial or charge by Israeli forces until June 2006, the military said. He was re-arrested in April 2007 for a short period of time.

Eisha's brother was shot dead by Israeli forces in Nov. 2005 while ostensibly trying to "throw an explosive" at them, and his father had been arrested by Israel multiple times, the Israeli military added.

The disappearance of the three youths has set off the largest Israeli military deployment across the West Bank in more than a decade, and has led to the deaths of eight Palestinians in less than two weeks.

Israeli forces initially accused Hamas of the kidnapping, which it vigorously denied, and authorities vowed to "crush" the Palestinian political and militant group.

More than 120 Palestinians have been injured in the military operation, which Israel dubbed "Brother's Keeper," and more than 1,350 homes and offices, including numerous universities, have been raided.

The Palestinian Prisoner's Society said on Thursday that 566 Palestinians have been detained in the campaign, including 12 members of parliament.
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1 ) jootoo / UK
26/06/2014 21:14
Well, where are they, and why are they missing from the roll-call of Hamas' foot soldiers.

2 ) Joseph Wisgirda / US
26/06/2014 21:38
Nice and convenient, all of this, just as that pesky unity government was getting legit and getting it's paperwork together for the UN ... mighty convenient I'd say .... because Israel, once it does your war crimes against Palestine will become official. You dodged a bullet nicely Netanhayu, turned it on the UG and the PA by ultra-politicizing what was essentially a staright-up criminal event. Why send in police when you can send in the army? That will really send a message to thosepeskyupstarts

3 ) JoeFattal / USA
26/06/2014 21:38
Not good enough. I don't believe it. Israel has too many suspects in jail without having proof they committed a crime.

4 ) Julie / USA
27/06/2014 00:34
of course izrael will pick two hamas members to name & blame...doesn't mean they're guilty! izraeli regime fabricates all kinds of stuff. this is most likely another one of their false flag ops, especially after the mossad chief predicted it just one week prior to the alleged incident.

5 ) Colin Wright / USA
27/06/2014 01:57
'...The military also said that the two, who are both from Hebron, were identified within 24 hours after the "kidnapping"...' ...which only raises the question -- why the random rampage? Of course, since there's no particular reason to think Israel did anything other than select the most convenient suspects, they may still not have a clue.

6 ) KAGH / US
27/06/2014 02:56
according to this Israel arrested them on June 14 http://english.pnn.ps/index.php/human-rights/7701-the-israeli-army-wages-a-campaign-of-mass-arrests-in-hebron

7 ) Rami / Palestine
27/06/2014 03:12
B.S. This is an attempt by Netanyahu to save face after failing to find the 3 settlers. He needs a couple of scapgoats and these guys are it.

8 ) jv / Canada
27/06/2014 04:19
Ahem. Evidence? Let me guess. They were caught with "Centerfuges the size of refrigerators!"

9 ) Sarah / The Netherlands
27/06/2014 08:19
What a joke. Within 24 hours. IDF only starts looking 10 hours after they where "kidnapped" and only learn their names, and saw their pictures 3 days after the "kidnapping". (Ynet news) But.... they already knew the "kidnappers". Almost every Palestinian saw "Israels" prisons from the inside so that information is telling nothing, but it looks good to the world. (in normal country's it is) And again... they confessed. (like 99.4% does in "Israel" after torture)

10 ) How come their are MISSISNG / for two weeks?
27/06/2014 08:45
the west bank is a tiny area---the only way these two guys can "disappear" from the face of the earth is that people are HIDING THEM!
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