A senior Hamas official acknowledged that the terrorist organization was behind the June kidnapping and murder of three Israeli students, the Jerusalem Post reports. Salah al-Arouri, a senior Hamas official, praised the "heroic action of the Kassam Brigades who kidnapped three settlers in Hebron," at a conference of Islamic clerics in Turkey on Wednesday.
Israel immediately blamed Hamas after the initial abduction, while the terrorist organization denied involvement. This is the terrorist organization's first public admission of the attack.
Hussam Qawasme was detained by Israeli authorities in July and is accused of orchestrating the kidnapping and killing of Yeshiva students Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Shaar. Marwan Qawasme and Amer Abu Aysaha, who allegedly carried out the attack, remain at large. According to the Shin Bet, Israel's domestic intelligence agency, Hussam Qawasme allegedly ordered the attack following approval by Hamas' military wing. He reportedly admitted to his participation and revealed that he received money from Gaza for the attack.
Al-Arouri heads Hamas' overseas wing based in Turkey and is accused of planning the overthrow of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank following a series of mass casualty terrorist attacks in Israel to destabilize the region. The Shin Bet uncovered the plot to topple the Fatah-ruled regime and provided overwhelming evidence that highlights Hamas' extensive terrorist infrastructure in the West Bank.