Terrorist who masterminded kidnapping and murder of Israeli teens captured in Gaza hospital

Hamas terrorist who helped plan kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in 2014 captured in Gaza City hospital.

By World Israel News Staff

A Hamas terrorist involved in a series of attacks on Israelis, including a high-profile incident involving the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, has been captured by Israeli security forces.

In a joint statement Wednesday, the IDF and the Shin Bet internal security agency announced that they have apprehended Mahmoud Qawasme, a Hamas terrorist who helped plan the 2014 abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers in Gush Etzion.

A long-time member of the Hamas terror organization, Qawasme was released by Israel and transferred to the Gaza Strip in 2011 as part of the hostage deal with Hamas that led to the release of abducted IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

Since then, Qawasme has directed terror operations in Judea and Samaria from the Gaza Strip. The IDF said that Qawasme was responsible for organizing multiple shooting attacks.

He was recently captured during the IDF operation inside the Shifa Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip.

IDF forces operating in and around the hospital have killed roughly 90 terrorists and arrested more than 300, the IDF said.

“Over the past day, the troops have eliminated terrorists and located weapons in the hospital area, while preventing harm to civilians, patients, medical teams and medical equipment,” the IDF said.

Qawasme is perhaps best known for his role in orchestrating the abduction and murder of 16-year-old Naftali Fraenkel, 16-year-old Gilad Shaer, and 19-year-old Eyal Yifrah in June 2014.

Two Hamas terrorists operating out of Hebron abducted the three teenagers as they were hitchhiking in Gush Etzion on June 12th, before murdering them and dumping their bodies in a ditch outside of Halhoul north of Hebron.

One of the two terrorists involved in the abduction and murder was Marwan Qawasme, Mahmoud’s brother.

The incident sparked war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014.