Israel on Thursday published the identities of the two chief suspects in the abduction of Israeli teenagers Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel.
Amer Abu Aysha, 32, and Marwan Kawasme, 29, are both known members of the Hamas terrorist organization. They have both been missing since the kidnapping of the three Jewish youths two weeks ago, and Israeli officials have considered them the primary suspects for well over a week.
Both Abu Aysha and Kawasme have spent time in Israeli jails for terrorist activities, but both were released as part of the numerous “goodwill gestures” Israel has made toward the Palestinian Authority.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday said he expects Israel to set free all jailed Palestinian terrorists as a condition for resuming peace negotiations. Many Israelis argue that the abduction case, like many attacks before it, proves precisely why Jerusalem must stop releasing terrorists and must begin resisting American and European pressure to do so.
Meanwhile, Abu Aysha’s mother told The Times of Israel that she is proud of what her son did, and hopes that he continues to evade capture.