Israel names kidnapping suspects

Marwan Kawasme (left) and Amar Abu Aysha (Photo: YouTube)

Marwan Kawasme (left) and Amar Abu Aysha (Photo: YouTube)

Israel’s internal security agency, the Shin Bet, has named two men it suspects of having abducted three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank two weeks ago.

Photographs of Marwan Kawasme and Amar Abu Aysha, two longstanding Hamas activists from the Hebron region, were distributed to the press yesterday.

The pair have been absent from their homes since the three Israeli teenagers went missing.

According to Israeli officials, they were in the car in which Gil-ad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel were taken from a hitchhiking post near the settlement of Alon Shvut in the Eztion bloc south of Jerusalem on June 12.

Kawasme, 29, has been detained by Israeli and Palestinian security forces several times. His family is allegedly affiliated with Hamas. His uncle, Abdullah Kawasme, was the commander of the organization’s military wing in Hebron.

Aysha, 32, was first arrested in November 2005 and has also been detained on several occasions. His brother was killed in November 2005 in a clash with IDF soldiers in Hebron.

The Shin Bet said that although it and the IDF “have been carrying out a wide-scale search aimed at capturing the wanted suspects … The first aim is to track down the location of the abducted youths.”

Last updated: 5:52pm, June 27 2014