The Shin Bet security service released the identity of two of the main suspects in the abduction of three Israeli boys earlier this month.
Hamas members Marwan Kawasme and Amar Abu Issa, both from Hebron, drew investigators' attention almost immediately. The two men have not been seen since the kidnapping two weeks ago. The boys, Yeshiva students, two of whom are 16 and one 19 years old, were last seen near Hebron.
Troops raided Kawasme and Abu Issa's homes roughly three days after the abduction. Israeli military and security personnel continue a furious search for the missing boys, arresting dozens of suspects and seizing weapons stashes found inside homes.
Other suspects from their terrorist cell have been detained and are undergoing interrogation.
Both Kawasme and Abu Issa are members of Hamas' militant wing and have been previously jailed by both the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
Kawasme was first arrested at the age of 18 and has been detained four more times thereafter. He confessed to being a Hamas member and partaking in multiple military exercises, including training in Hebron area caves and obtaining bomb making materials. He also participated in the recruitment efforts of Palestinian youth on Hamas' behalf. Kawasme was released from prison in March 2012.
Ha'aretz reports that Abu Issa, 32, was also detained for approximately half a year in 2005 and was arrested again in 2007. Abu Issa's father has also spent time in an Israeli prison and his father was killed in 2005 when he attempted to throw an explosive at Israeli troops.
A senior security source told the Jerusalem Post that since both suspects were previously in administrative detention, such measures are justified to prevent explicit threats to national security.
Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu stated that following the release of the suspects' names and affiliation, he expects Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to abrogate the pact with Hamas.
Palestinians, meanwhile, continue to support the kidnapping, hoping it leads to a prisoner exchange to free terrorists held in Israel.