Terrorists ID'd in Israeli Teen Kidnapping Case
JERUSALEM, Israel -- The Shin Bet, Israel Security Service, revealed the identities of the two main suspects late Thursday in the Palestinian terrorist kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers, one of whom holds American citizenship.
"A short time after the kidnapping I said that those who perpetrated this activity were terrorists of Hamas," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. "And indeed, today, the Security Services of Israel have published the names of two of the perpetrators of this heinous crime."
In a statement the Shin Bet said it knew within 24 hours that Hamas had abducted the three Israeli teenagers.
"The two main terrorists involved in the abduction are Marwan Kawasme and Amar Abu Aysha, Hamas activists from Hebron, who became fugitives immediately upon the perpetration of the kidnapping," the statement said.
The Shin Bet and Israel Defense Forces "have been conducting a wide-ranging manhunt to apprehend the fugitives, first and foremost in order to locate the abducted youths."
The drama surrounding the kidnap of the teens by Hamas terrorists on July 12 continued to grip Israel as the search entered its third week.
Naftal Fraenkel's mother Rachel spoke for the mothers of Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah as she told of their anguish and appealed for help at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva this week.
"My son texted me - said he's on his way home - and then he's gone," an emotional Fraenkel said. "Every mother's nightmare is waiting and waiting endlessly for her child to come home."
The three teens were waiting at a bus stop for a ride home from school when they were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists.
Rachel Fraenkel thanked the U.N. but said much more could be done to bring the boys home.
"It is wrong to take children, innocent boys or girls, and use them as instruments of any struggle,' an emotional Fraenkel said. "It is cruel. This council is charged with protecting human rights. I wish to ask: doesn't every child have the right to come home safely from school?" she pleaded.
The other moms are also speaking out.
"We hope that these positive energies from all of you will make their way to our Gil-Ad," Bat-Galim Shaer said.
"Eyali, our heart is torn, our heart is broken yet our heart will never stop believing," said Iris Yifrah.
Netanyahu called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to take action.
"I now expect President Abbas, who said important things in Saudi Arabia, to stand by those words and to break his pact with the Hamas terrorist organization that kidnaps children and calls for the destruction of Israel," Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu earlier had praised Abbas for saying that "the three teens are human beings like us and they should be returned to their families.'
In a statement to foreign ministers of Islamic countries in Saudi Arabia, Abbas said "those who kidnapped the three teenagers want to destroy us. We will hold them accountable."
Meanwhile Israel is considering other measures such as blocking Palestinian Authority salaries paid to terrorists in Israeli jails.