Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised a strong response to the killing of three Israeli teens abducted from a highway junction outside of the West Bank settlement of Kfar Etziyon on June 12th.
The Israeli security cabinet is currently meeting to weigh possible responses to the teens’ murders. Netanyahu ordered an extensive air campaign in the Gaza Strip in late 2012 in response to rocket attacks originating in the Hamas-controlled coastal area. While the campaign resulted in the deaths of several high-ranking Hamas operatives, including Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari, the campaign ceased admit international pressure — and resulted in Israel lightening its control of goods and individuals entering the Strip.
So any large-scale action comes with potential risk. And for now, there’s still a chance that the kidnapping was the work of rogue Hamas cells, rather than a conspiracy ordered by the organisation’s top leadership.
“I don’t think that we know enough to say anything conclusively as of yet,” an IDF source told Business Insider. “We do know that the two suspects and their support staff are Hamas operatives, Hamas activists and Hamas affiliates. There’s no question there. Is this part of something larger? That’s still something that we’re looking at.”
The discovery of the three bodies comes less than 24 hours after a barrage of rockets were fired from the Strip with Hamas’s explicit blessing — the first such sanctioned attacks since 2012. Today’s news is just the latest potential point of escalation between Israel and Hamas, which recently entered a U.S.-funded unity government with Fatah, a rival Palestinian faction.
On his Facebook page, Netanyahu was clear in assigning responsibility. He wrote that the three were “murdered in cold blood by human animals,” and promised that “Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay.”
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