Bodies of three Israeli missing teens found near Hebron
Israeli security forces discovered on Monday evening the bodies of three Israeli teens, who went missing on June 12, near Hebron in the West Bank, the military confirmed.
The bodies of 19-year-old Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frankel and Gilad Shaer, both 16, were found in the Judean Hills in the southern West Bank, north of Hebron, between the Palestinian town of Beit Ummar and Halhul. Their bodies were discovered in an area controlled by the Palestinian Authority, not far from where they were considered to be kidnapped.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will convene his diplomatic-security cabinet at 9:30 p.m. local time (GMT1830) to discuss the recent developments and possible courses of action. The Israeli parliament stopped deliberations immediately following the developments and will resume working on Tuesday.
Hundreds of Israeli soldiers were operating near Halhul to retrieve the bodies, prompting clashes with Palestinian protesters who hurled stones at the soldiers and their vehicles. The suspected kidnappers have not been apprehended.
Israeli security forces conducted a manhunt in the West Bank territories in the past two weeks dubbed as operation "Brother's Keeper" to track down the missing teens and their suspected kidnappers. More than 420 Palestinian suspects were arrested and some of Hamas' institutions were closed.
The operation included raids and overnight operations across the West Bank and searches were conducted in more than 2,200 locations, according to the Israeli army. More than four Palestinians were killed in clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the past two weeks.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas is behind the attack and urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to dissolve his national unity government with it.
The Shin Bet Security Agency on Thursday named two main suspects in the teens' suspected kidnapping.
In addition to the operation in the West Bank, more than 70 rockets were launched by militants in the Gaza Strip towards southern Israel. Israel retaliated in several air raids killing at least three Palestinians, according to local media reports.
On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is ready to expand its operation against Hamas. Abbas condemned the suspected kidnapping and said whoever is behind it is set to destroy the Palestinian Authority.