Three Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped this month were found dead north of a Palestinian town near the city of Hebron on Monday. Eyal Yifrah, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and joint U.S.-Israeli citizen Naftali Fraenkel, 16, were hitchhiking home from the West Bank when they went missing on June 12. According to police, the three were shot at close range inside the car not long after making a phone call to authorities to say they had been kidnapped.
Members or associates of the Palestinian militant group Hamas are suspected of taking the boys, but the group’s leadership denies playing a role. "Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay," announced Israeli Prime Minister Bejamin Netanyahu at an emergency cabinet meeting. According to Palestinian reports, Israeli troops blew up the homes of two prime suspects in the kidnapping.
Since their disappearance, Israeli forces have arrested more than 240 Palestinians in connection to the abduction. In response, rockets launched from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel have been frequent, including a round early Tuesday. In response, the Israeli army fired back on Gaza with 30 air strikes but no reported casualties.