PHOTO: 3 Israel teens kidnapped and killed in June — Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel, and Gil-ad Shaar

Read more: Israel names suspects in kidnapping of three teens | The Times of Israel
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An Israel Defense Forces spokesman has said that two Palestinians suspected of the fatal abduction of three Israeli teenage settlers in June — a catalyst for the 50-day war between Israel and Gaza this summer — have been killed in a shootout.

Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said suspects Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Aisheh were slain in the West Bank on Tuesday:

We opened fire, they returned fire and they were killed in the exchange.

“We have visual confirmation for one. The second one, we have no visual confirmation, but the assumption is he was killed.

Six other Palestinians were arrested in the incident, as an Israeli force continued to surround the neighborhood near Hebron University.

“The Israeli forces, according to local sources in Hebron are bombing doors open, they can see a bulldozer and spot smoke in the area — but are not able to approach,” Al Jazeera’s Rania Zabaneh said.

The abduction of the Jewish seminary students in the West Bank led to the arrests of hundreds of people, including most of the senior members of Hamas in the area.

The bodies of the three Israelis were found three weeks later. Soon after that, rockets were fired from Gaza — governed by Hamas — into southern Israel, prompting Israeli airstrikes and later a ground invasion.

Israel claimed during the war that the kidnappers were acting on orders from Hamas leaders. Palestinian sources said that the suspects were pursuing their own initiative without any authority from Hamas.