IDF forces demolished the homes of the two Hamas terrorists suspected of the kidnapping and murder of three Israel youth in June in Hebron late Sunday.
The army announced the completion of the operation on Monday. Forces also sealed off the home of a third suspect who took part in the attack.
Security forces blew up the homes of Hussam Kawasme, the mastermind of the attack, and Amer Abu Aysha, who is suspected of carrying out the kidnapping and murder of the three youth. The home of Marwan Kawasme, the accomplice of Abu Aysha, was sealed off.
“We are determined in bringing the ruthless murderers of Gilad, Eyal and Naftali to justice,” IDF spokesman Lt.-Col. Peter Lerner stated on Monday.
“The demolition of the terrorists’ homes conveys a clear message to terrorists and their accomplices that there is a personal price to pay when engaging in terror and carrying out attacks against Israelis,” he added.
Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel went missing on the evening of June 12 as they were on their way home from school. The three teens were declared kidnapped and a subsequent 18-day search, along with a major crackdown on Hamas in Judea and Samaria, ensued.
The bodies of the three boys were found in a field close to a Palestinian village near Hebron. It is believed, based on a recording of a call one of the boys placed to police upon being kidnapped, that they were murdered immediately.
Marwan Kawasme and Abu Aysha are both still at large. Hussam Kawasme was arrested July 11 near Jerusalem as he was hiding and planning his escape to Jordan. He admitted under interrogation to planning the attack with the aid of Hamas.
Hussam told security forces that the killers of the three youth drove to his house after the murders. Together, they dumped the bodies in a shallow grave in an open field that was bought by Kawasme ahead of time.
According to the Shin Bet security service, he also helped conceal the two terrorist killers from Israeli forces who were searching for them.
Palestinian protestors near the demolition site were wounded in clashes with Israeli security forces, the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported.
The order to demolish the homes was issued in mid-July by the IDF and was carried out after being stalled several times by appeals. The High Court of Justice denied many of the appeals and gave the IDF the go-ahead to demolish the homes.
Marwan Kawasme’s home is also set to be demolished.