Thursday, June 26, 2014

Shin Bet reveals identity of two main suspected kidnappers


Hamas in Hebron members Marwan Quasma, 29, and Amar Abu Eisha, 32, are the kidnappers, intelligence agency says; both men became wanted as soon as security forces learned of the kidnapping, Shin Bet says.

Wanted for kidnapping: (left to right) Marwan Quasma and Amar Abu Eisha
Wanted for kidnapping: (left to right) Marwan Quasma and Amar Abu Eisha Photo: Courtesy
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) revealed on Thursday the identity of two of the main terrorists involved in the kidnapping of three Israeli youths this month.

The intelligence agency named Marwan Quasma and Amar Abu Eisha both Hamas men from Hebron, as the two principal suspects behind the kidnapping, adding that both men became wanted as soon as security forces learned of the kidnapping.

"Since then, the Shin Bet and 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," the Shin Bet stated.

Marwan Quasma, 29, has been arrested in the past for Hamas-related activity. He was arrested aged 18, and carried out a ten month prison sentence. After his release, he was arrested another four times, and on some occasions, placed under administrative detention. When questioned in 2010, he confessed to being recruited to Hamas's military wing in Hebron in 2009, taking part in military training in caves in the Hebron area, and obtaining raw materials for the assembly of bombs. He also took part in the recruitment of other Palestinian youths to Hamas.

Amar Abu Eisha, 32, was first arrested in November 2005, and placed in administrative custody until June 2006. He was rearrested for a short while in April 2007. Abu Eisha's brother was killed in November 2005, while trying to hurl an explosive device at IDF soldiers.

Security forces, including the elite Counter-Terrorism Unit, arrested several suspects in recent days on suspicion of being involved in this month's kidnapping.

A senior security source told The Jerusalem Post that the Shin Bet confirmed the identity of the kidnappers within 24 hours of the kidnapping. He stressed the fact that both were in administrative detention in the past, a fact that he says shows that this measure is used against clear dangers to national security.

The additional suspects who have been arrested by security forces are part of the Hamas in Hebron infrastructure, and are suspected of playing a role in the kidnapping, the source said.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu related to the naming of the suspects, during a speech at a graduation ceremony for new pilots on Thursday, saying that now that the names were known, he expected Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas -- whom he again praised for strongly condemning the kidnappings -- to dissolve his pact with Hamas.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

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