Israel’s internal security agency, the Shin Bet, announced the names of the suspects in the abduction of Gilad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel, and Eyal Yifrach two weeks ago.
The two alleged abductors, Amer Abu Aysha and Marwan Kawasme, are both known Hamas members. They have been missing from their homes in Hebron’s Hares neighborhood ever since the kidnapping took place on the night of June 12 and are still at large. Israeli security forces have been engaged in a massive operation to find the abducted youths.
The identities of the suspected kidnappers, who attended prayer services regularly at the same mosque, have been known to Israel since soon after the kidnapping, but were kept secret as the search operation continued over the past two weeks. They are alleged to have been in the car in which Gil-ad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Fraenkel were abducted from a hitchhiking post near the settlement of Alon Shvut in the Eztion Bloc south of Jerusalem, Israeli officials said. Other members of their Hamas group have been arrested, the officials added.
Abu Aysha is a locksmith who had been at a family gathering shortly before the abductions. He was described as a “family man” by his mother who was devoted to his wife and three children. His mother also told the Times that “if her son did take part in the kidnapping, she was proud of him.” A brother, Zayd, was killed in a clash with IDF forces in 2005.
Kawasme is a 29-year-old barber whose “family is known to be affiliated with Hamas.” His uncle, Abdullah Kawasme, was a Hamas commander who was killed in a shootout with Israeli security personnel in 2003.
[Photo: Courtesy ]