" He said his brother approached him several hours after the kidnapping and said we wanted to kidnap one but we got three. We messed up. We killed them, the daily reported."
Jerusalem, Sep 4 - An Israeli military court Thursday indicted a Palestinian man on charges of heading a militant cell that was responsible for the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers in June.

Hussam Qawasmeh, 40, arrested by Israeli authorities July 11, was indicted at the Ofer military court near Ramallah on charges of organising and funding the attack, Xinhua reported.

However, Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Aisheh, the two main suspects named by the Shin Bet security service as those who executed the kidnapping and killing, remain at large.

Following the June 12 kidnapping, Israel embarked on an operation in the West Bank to find the missing teenagers and their captors, deploying thousands of security force personnel.

Hundreds of Palestinians were arrested during the operation and Hamas institutions in the West Bank were shut down.

According to court documents, Qawasmeh was suspected of helping to organise the kidnapping and he was the one who asked Hamas for money to buy weapons for the two main suspects.

It is also believed that he helped bury the three Israeli teenagers, Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel, whose bodies were retrieved near Hebron June 30.

Qawasmeh apparently admitted his involvement during Shin Bet interrogations, according to the Ha'aretz daily.

He said his brother approached him several hours after the kidnapping and said we wanted to kidnap one but we got three. We messed up. We killed them, the daily reported.

The defendant was once incarcerated in an Israeli prison, between 1995 and 2002, due to his activities as a Hamas member in the West Bank.


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