IDF court indicts Hamas mastermind for teens’ kidnapping, murder

Murdered Israeli teens Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel, and Eyal Yifrach. Credit: IDF.

( The IDF military court on Thursday indicted Hamas mastermind Hussam Hassan Kawasme for the kidnapping and murder of Israeli teenagers Gilad Shaar (16), Naftali Frenkel (16), and Eyal Yifrach (19) in June. 

"In an intelligence operation launched by the Shin Bet, Hussam Kawasme was tracked down arrested in a hideout in the Shuafat refugee camp," stated the Shin Bet, Israel’s security agency. "He is the son of a family whose sons have been involved in severe terror attacks on behalf of Hamas."

One of Kawasme's brothers, Hassin, is currently in prison for involvement in the March 2011 bombing attack on the International Convention Center in Jerusalem, and another Kawasme brother, Mahmoud, was imprisoned for involvement in an August 2004 double suicide bombing in Beersheba that killed 16 Israelis. The Shin Bet described Hussam Kawasme, 40, as a command-level Hamas operative who raised money for June's kidnapping with the help of Mahmoud Kawasme, who had been released and expelled by Israel to the Gaza Strip as part of the 2011 deal that secured Hamas captive Gilad Shalit's freedom. 

Hussam Kawasme allegedly used the money to buy a vehicle that was then used to kidnap the three teenagers. The two suspects in the actual kidnapping and murder are Marwan Qawasme and Amar Abu Aisha, and both are still on the run.

Posted on September 4, 2014 .