Hussam Kawasme arrested in killings of 3 Israeli teens

Israeli authorities said on Tuesday they had arrested a Palestinian suspected of being involved in the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June.

40-year-old Hebron resident arrested on July 11, according to court documents

This undated image released by the Israel Defence Forces shows the three slain teens, from left to right: Eyal Yifrah, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, a 16-year-old with dual Israeli-American citizenship. (Israel Defence Forces/ Associated Press)

Israeli authorities said on Tuesday they had arrested a Palestinian suspected of being involved in the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June.

Hussam Kawasme, a 40-year-old resident of the West Bank city of Hebron, was arrested on July 11 in connection with the killing of Israelis Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrah, who went missing on June 12 and were discovered dead a couple of weeks later.

Their kidnapping sparked a cycle of violence that led to the month-long conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

Kawasme's arrest was made public for the first time on Tuesday in a document from an Israeli court case over whether houses belonging to him and two other suspects - who remain at large - should be destroyed as a punitive measure.

The lawyers listed as representing Kawasme were not reachable for comment.

The court document said Kawasme had admitted to helping to organize the kidnapping — securing funding from the Hamas Islamist group in Gaza and purchasing weapons which he passed on to the two other suspects who carried out the attack.

Kawasme also helped to bury the bodies of the teenagers in a plot of land he had bought a few months earlier, it said.

Israel has named the other two suspects in the case as Marwan Kawasme and Amar Abu Aysha.

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