Hamas kidnapped 3 Israeli teenagers in June, claims senior official

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Gaza, Aug 22: In a shocking revelation, a top Hamas official said on Friday that his militant group kidnapped three Israeli teenagers. They were found dead in June  and reportedly, this incident started the ongoing war in Gaza.

This revelation is regarded as the first acknowledgement of the Hamas' involvement in the Gaza war. So far they refused to confirm any such involvement. 

According to a Newsweek report, Saleh al-Arouri, a Hamas official from the West Bank confirmed at a press meet in Istanbul the Israeli allegations that Hamas was behind the teenagers' kidnapping and killing.

"There was much speculation about this operation, some said it was a conspiracy," al-Arouri told delegates at the meeting of the International Union of Islamic Scholars on Wednesday. "The popular will was exercised throughout our occupied land, and culminated in the heroic operation by the Qassam Brigades in imprisoning the three settlers in Hebron," he said, referring to Hamas's armed wing.

Three teenagers - Eyal Nifrach, 19, Gil-ad Shar, 16, and Naftali Frankel, 16, went missing in Gush Etzion in June. Three days later, their bodies were recovered near Hebron. Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdair, 17, was murdered in July allegedly by Israelis as a retaliation.

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