For the first time since the identification of the bodies of three abducted teens, Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel, a senior Hamas official admitted that the members of the organisation’s military wing are responsible for the kidnapping and murder. Even prior to the finding of the teens’ bodies, Netanyahu claimed Hamas was responsible for the kidnapping, whilst the latter argued that the directive to carry out the act did not come from Gaza.

It’s official: a senior Hamas official announced that the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, are those who kidnapped and murdered the three teens Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel roughly six weeks ago.

The official, Sheikh Saleh Al-Aarrori, made the comments during a conference organised by the World Association of Muslim Scholars in Turkey. This is the first time a senior Hamas official admits that Hamas members were responsible for the kidnapping of the three teens, nor call the three teens “soldiers”, as done by Hamas thus far. Before finding the bodies of the teens, Netanyahu accused Hamas of their kidnapping and said that “Hamas will pay for his actions,” yet the leaders of Hamas did not admit until now that the organisation is responsible for its execution.

Three days ago, IDF forces destroyed the houses of the two kidnappers, as well as the house of the Hamas terrorist squad leader in Hebron. The Demolition of the houses was done in accordance with the Israeli Supreme Court, that rejected three attempts to avoid this move over the past few weeks. The Commander of the West Bank Division, BGen Tamir Yad’i, said that in this context “the demolition of the terrorists’ houses in Hebron, the terrorists who kidnapped the three teenagers in “Brothers’ Keeper” operation, sends a clear message. Those who deal in terror will suffer a heavy blow.”