The homes of the main suspects in the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank in June, were demolished on Monday.
The IDF Spokesman’s Office said that combat engineers supported by Border Patrol officers set explosive charges to two houses belonging to Hussam Kawasme and Amar Abu Aysha in the southern West Bank and sealed off a home belonging to suspect Marwan Kawasme.
Hussam Kawasme, 40, from Hebron, was arrested on July 11, but both Marwan Kawasme and Aysha have still not been found.
Kawasme’s arrest was made public earlier in August via a court case document, dealing with whether or not his house, or those belonging to the other suspects should be demolished.
The three men, all affiliated with Hamas, are suspected of engineering the abduction and murder of teenage yeshiva students Gil- Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah, and Naftali Fraenkel, who were killed shortly after they hitched a ride on June 12 near a Gush Etzion junction.
According to the court document published earlier this month, Hussam Kawasme helped organize the kidnapping and secured funding from Hamas to buy weapons for the other two suspects.
He also helped bury the bodies of the youths on a plot of land he bought months before, the document said.
The IDF said that they carried out the demolitions “as part of the ongoing war against terror and its infrastructure.”
The army said that the demolitions “issue a severe message of deterrence to terrorists and their accomplices – that they will pay a price if they continue their terrorist activities and harm innocent people.”
They added that security forces from the army, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), and the police were still looking for the remaining kidnappers.
Shortly after the demolitions were complete, the Border Police said that they had deployed around 250 officers to secure the three scenes, noting that the demolitions took six hours during which time they dispersed a number of people attempting to protest the action.