Israeli Special Forces entered a hideout in the West bank early Tuesday morning and killed two Palestinians who were suspected of abducting and killing three teenagers from Israel in June. Those killings, which were gruesome, triggered events that led to this past summer’s war in Gaza.
The two suspects were identified by the military of Israel as well known militants with Hamas and their killing ended one of Israel’s biggest manhunts ever conducted.
The three Israeli teenagers, one with dual citizenship with the United States, were abducted June 12 in the West Banks while hitchhiking. The three were killed shortly thereafter.
The abduction of the teens and their eventual slaying prompted a broad crackdown by Israel on Hamas the Islamic militant organization and set off a number of different events that led to a war of 50-days between Hamas and Israel.
In the search operation, Israel sent thousands of its troops into the West Bank looking for the teens, closed Hebron area roads and arrested hundreds throughout the area.
On July 1, the search ended when the three bodies of the teens were located under rocks in a field.
Israeli forces were pursuing Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Aisheh since the teens had been abducted, said the Israeli military.
Israeli intelligence learned of a hideout in the Hebron area last week that was located by Yaman a special counter terrorism unit of the police.
Early Tuesday, Special Forces from Israel entered the first floors of a building and killed two operatives from Hamas after taking fire.
The Israeli military believes both of the men were killed, though the troops confirmed just one suspect had been killed.
A military spokesperson said the second suspect had fallen backward during a hail of fire and was presumed dead, although a body was not recovered.
For weeks, Hamas denied any involvement with the teens’ abductions. However, during the war between Israel and Hamas this summer, an exiled leader of Hamas acknowledged the group was responsible for the teens’ abduction and subsequent killings.