Back in June, three Israeli teenage boys were kidnapped and then later found dead. The Israeli government suspected that the Palestinian Sunni Islamic terrorist organization known as Hamas had carried out the brutal murders of Naftali Frenkel, 16, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19, but lacked any concrete evidence. Fast forward to today. According to newly released information from the Associated Press, a senior Hamas leader has finally admitted that “the group carried out the kidnapping and killing of” the three teens.
The big reveal occurred Wednesday, when senior Hamas sheikh Saleh Arouri announced at a press conference in Turkey that “Hamas’s military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, [had] carried out what he described as [the] ‘heroic operation’ with the broader goal of sparking a new Palestinian uprising.” What Hamas had not intended to do, he said, was “ignite [such] a large battle, but Allah has chosen and willed that a large battle would be ignited.”
If you recall, the Israeli government initially reacted to the kidnappings by accusing Hamas of committing them. While Hamas has praised the kidnappings and murders on numerous occasions, this is the first time anyone from the terrorist organization has actually claimed responsibility.
Regardless, according to the Washington Post, after the bodies were found on June 30, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded by first asserting that “Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay,” and by then initiating a crackdown on Hamas members living in the West Bank. The Times of Israel reveals that Hamas then struck back by firing an “a large valley of rockets” into Israel.
These back and forth attacks sparked the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, which sadly continues to this day. Thus far, 2000 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have perished as per this never-ending conflict. Furthermore, it has been revealed time and time again that Hamas purposefully builds and utilizes terror tunnels to target innocent Israeli civilians for kidnapping and murder. It is also known that Hamas uses its own citizens as human shields.
It should be noted that three foolhardy Israelis not tied to the government had themselves responded to the June kidnappings and murders by kidnapping and murdering 17-year-old Palestinian boy Abu Khdair. However, all three killers have been apprehended and are awaiting trial. Furthermore, Netanyahu himself condemned the atrocious revenge killing. You need only compare this forthcoming and human attitude from Israel to that of Hamas to truly understand the vast differences between the two entities.
Image via [New York Post]