Palestinian arrested in connection with abduction, murder of three teens

Israeli security forces recently arrested a man thought to be the ringleader of the terror cell responsible for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in mid-June, security officials tell The Times of Israel.

Hebron native Hussam Kawasme is thought to be the man called by the two kidnappers, Marwan Kawasme and Amer Abu Aysha, after they abducted and murdered Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-ad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach on June 12.

Hussam Kawasme was arrested in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat.

Officials also say others in the cell have been arrested.

The Times of Israel has learned that Hussam Kawasme has a brother active in Hamas who was freed in the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap and deported to Gaza. It’s thought that the order to carry out the kidnapping came from there.

Those responsible work under the auspices of former Palestinian interior minister Fathi Hammad with another senior Hamas official in Ankara, Salah al-Arouri, who are responsible for planning dozens of attacks in the West Bank.

According to Palestinian security sources, there is little doubt that the group that carried out the kidnapping is linked to Hamas’s leadership abroad.

— Avi Issacharoff

Most Popular