In the clearest acknowledgement that Hamas was behind the kidnapping and killing of Israeli teenagers Eyal Yifrach, Gil-ad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkel, Israel’s Channel 2 today broadcast a video (embedded with subtitles below) of Hamas’ Turkey-based West Bank commander, praising the kidnappers.
According to The Times of Israel, Saleh al Arouri made his remarks at a conference:
The recording, apparently made at a conference in Turkey, represents the strongest link yet between the attack and Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades armed wing.
“I praise the brave action that the al-Qassam Brigades carried out, the kidnapping of the three settlers to Hebron,” he says, adding that some say it was done on behalf of Palestinian inmates hunger striking in Israeli prisons.
The al-Qassam Brigades are in charge of Hamas’ military and terrorist activities.
Arouri, who is based in Turkey, has been on Israel’s radar since at least last year. He has been accused, generally, of directing Hamas’ increased terrorist activity in the West Bank, and specifically involvement in the kidnapping of the three teens and the recently announced coup attempt against the Palestinian Authority.
Earlier this month, Hamas member Hussam Kawasme, a cousin of one of the kidnappers, admitted when he was arrested that he had ordered the abductions.
[Photo: Arouri222 / YouTube ]