Mastermind of kidnapping of 3 Israeli teens expelled from Qatar

The mastermind of the kidnapping of three Israeli teens in the summer of 2014, who were subsequently murdered, was expelled from Qatar.

A senior Hamas commander responsible for kidnapping and murder of three Israeli youths in 2014 has been expelled from Qatar, along with other top Hamas members.

Saleh al-Arouri, 60, has been blamed for the kidnapping and subsequent murder of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaer, and Naftali Frankel in 2014, which many people point to as the catalyst for Operation Protective Edge. Al-Arouri and other Hamas officials, all of whom were involved in planning attacks in Judea and Samaria, were told by authorities to leave Qatar, which cited “external pressures” as the reason. The terrorists are now residing in Malaysia, Lebanon, and Turkey.

Al-Arouri founded the military wing of Hamas, or the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and was  known within the terrorist organization as the “Military Commander of the West Bank.” Arrested multiple times, he was  released in 2011 as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap. Al-Arouri had previously lived in Turkey, but was expelled by the Ankara government as part of its reconciliation agreement with Israel. Qatar also expelled Musa Dodin, another convicted terrorist released in the Shalit deal, but little is known about current whereabouts.

The expulsion comes in a period of diplomatic tensions, as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Maldives, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates have all cut ties with Qatar, blaming Doha for inflaming regional conflicts and for supporting terrorism. Qatar denies the accusations, calling them “baseless and unfounded allegations.”

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman hailed the split between Qatar and the other Arab Gulf states. “There is no doubt that this opens many possibilities for collaboration in the fight against terror,” he said during a Knesset question and answer session.

By: Tzvi Lev, World Israel News