Israeli forces kill Palestinians suspected of murdering three teenagers which led to escalation in hostilities with Hamas in Gaza


Click to follow

Israeli soldiers have entered the Palestinian self-rule area of the West Bank city of Hebron and killed two Palestinians suspected of abducting and murdering three Israeli teenagers in June.

The teenagers’ deaths helped to trigger an escalation in hostilities between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

The two Palestinians, Amer Abu Aisha, 32 and Marwan Qawasmeh, 29, were hailed as heroes and martyrs at funerals that were dominated by the green flags of Hamas. “Go on, Hamas, you are the dignity, we are the bullets,” and “Amer, rest in your grave, we will continue the struggle,” chanted mourners among the several thousand who turned out.

The Israeli army said in a statement that during a mission to arrest the two Palestinians, “the terrorists opened fire at the forces. The forces returned fire, identifying the terrorists”.

The two were traced to a carpentry shop in property owned by Marwan Qawasmeh’s extended family near a mosque in Hebron’s Bir al-Majhar neighbourhood. The metal doors of the shop were pockmarked with bullet holes. Walid Qawasmeh, 55, a distant relative of Marwan, said he was awoken at 2am by the sound of “intensive shooting”.


“I thought I was in a nightmare. It continued every three to five minutes. It was not an exchange of fire. It was shooting from one side,” he said.

Troops broke through the ceiling of the carpentry store and dropped in stun grenades and tear gas. “There was a lot of shooting inside. They blew up the doors of a shoe store and shops on the main street,” Mr Qawasmeh added.