Top Hamas official claims responsibility for kidnapping Israeli teens

israel teens kidnapped
The three Israeli teens who were abducted and killed in the occupied West Bank

A top Hamas official said members of his militant group kidnapped three Israeli teenagers whose deaths in June provoked a spiral of violence that led to the ongoing war in Gaza, the first acknowledgement of the movement’s involvement.

Hamas officials have up to now refused to confirm or deny any involvement. Some Western journalists and media outlets had previously rejected the suggestion of Hamas involvement in the kidnappings.

Speaking at a conference in Istanbul, Saleh al-Arouri, a Hamas official from the West Bank who now lives in exile in Turkey, appeared to confirm Israeli allegations that the Islamist group was behind the teenagers’ abduction.

“There was much speculation about this operation, some said it was a conspiracy,” al-Arouri told delegates at the meeting of the International Union of Islamic Scholars on Wednesday, a recording of which was posted online by organisers.

“The popular will was exercised throughout our occupied land, and culminated in the heroic operation by the Qassam Brigades in imprisoning the three settlers in Hebron,” he said, referring to Hamas’s armed wing.

Eyal Nifrach, 19, Gil-ad Shar, 16, and Naftali Frankel, 16, disappeared in Gush Etzion in June. Following an extensive three-week manhunt, their bodies were recovered near Hebron. Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdair, 17, was murdered in an apparent ‘reprisal’ killing in July.

Three Israelis are currently under trial for the murder of Abu Khdair. Marwan Kawasmeh and Amar Abu-Eisha, the chief suspects in the murders of Nifrach, Shar and Frankel, remain at large.

Newsweek correspondent in the West Bank, Bethan Staton, says that the claim may be politically motivated, part of a wider strategy to stir up fear amongst Israelis following a televised speech in which a Hamas military spokesperson threatened to step up its six-week conflict with Israel, declaring peace talks in Cairo over.

Saleh al-Arouri, senior Hamas official
Saleh al-Arouri, a senior Hamas official claimed responsibility for kidnapping the three Israeli teens

But Staton said that there are doubts over the claim in the West Bank, and that al-Aruri’s admission will do little to alter public opinion in the region. “The confession will confirm what people in Israel already thought,” she said. “West Bank residents don’t think it was Hamas [that kidnapped the teens] and are unlikely to change their minds.”




13 responses to “Top Hamas official claims responsibility for kidnapping Israeli teens”

  1. The real lebanese Avatar
    The real lebanese

    This is the dumbest thing they could say. Especially after some media was claiming Israel set the whole thing up.

    1. MekensehParty Avatar

      Like Aljazeera…
      but then again it’s always someone else’s doing until the truth end up coming out

      1. The real lebanese Avatar
        The real lebanese

        We’ll still see people claiming Israel started the conflict by accusing Hamas of the kidnapping unjustly.

        1. TheUSequalsTheIS Avatar

          but israel did start the conflict 😉

          1. When Moses left Egypt ? 1948 ? or after the genius above was so sure the kidnapping would free palestine ? ;)P hope you are doing well Angel.

          2. Joe Deno Avatar

            Who keeps firing the missles?

  2. Saleh al-Arouri, The Genius, wonder if he is still smiling if he actually is responsible.

  3. MekensehParty Avatar

    Not that any of the two acts (the 3 Israelis teens, or the Palestinian teen’s killing) is excusable or justifiable in any way but one has to notice that on one side the killers are called heroes (and therefore above the law of God and men) while on the other the killers go to jail.

    1. $89733098 Avatar

      just like the americans are held “accountable” right old broomstick?

      1. MekensehParty Avatar

        For some reason the new disqus is blocking your replies and hind’s
        I wonder why he’s singling out the two of you
        maybe it has been updated with a feature that recognizes nonsense
        PS: yes, going to jail for murder is definitely an example of accountability.
        Being named a hero for a triple murder is on the other hand a perfect example of barbarism.

        1. $89733098 Avatar

          How do u know disqus is a he? Or a u being ur usual sexist self?

  4. Does Hamas think that this admission will make them look any better?

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      Only to ISIS-types.

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