✡ ——- ISRAEL MOURNS ——- ✡
Search ends as security forces find the bodies of the 3 kidnapped Israeli teens outside Hebron in Beit Kahil region on the 18th day of Israel’s search for Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel & Eyal Yifrah ז”ל.
The gov’t’s security cabinet to convene later Monday night.
The bodies of the three Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped over two weeks ago were found by security forces in a field northwest of Hebron on Monday afternoon.
The discovery came after the Shin Bet focused its efforts in the area over the past two days during searches for the three abducted Israeli teens, who were abducted from a hitchhiking point in Gush Etzion.
The bodies were being transported to Abu Kabir Forensic Institute in Tel Aviv for further examination.
The Shin Bet instructed search forces to focus on the town of Halhul, north of Hebron, near where the bodies were found on Monday. The bodies were found buries in an open area, three kilometers from Halhul.
The Shin Bet is continuing intelligence efforts to track down the two Hamas kidnappers, Marwan Kawasme and Amar Abu Aysha, as well as all those involved in the kidnapping.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz held a security evaluation with senior military brass following the discovery of the bodies of the missing teens.
A large number of police officers and security forces had gathered at the Halhul junction north of Hebron, near the area where the three were said to have been abducted. The area was declared a closed military perimeter.
Clashes broke out in the area between security forces and Palestinians.
A special cabinet meeting was reportedly set to convene later Monday night.
The Knesset had cancelled all votes in the plenum on Monday evening due to “developments.”
Earlier on Monday evening, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon had announced that progress had been made in the more than two-week search for Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrah, reported Israel Radio.
Since the start of the operation launched to locate the missing teens, the IDF has arrested 419 security suspects, of those, 276 of them hamas members. Twelve Hamas leaders have been arrested in the West Bank. The IDf launched 39 brigade-wide raids, and targeted 63 da’wa Hamas civilian bodies.
Hamas radio and television media have been shut down, and restricted access has been in place around areas of Hebron for 17 days.
The IDF searched 2,216 West Bank homes. Meanwhile, in Gaza, terrorists fired some 40 rockets at Israel, and the air force responded with 13 waves of air strikes in response.
Ben Hartman contributed to this report.
View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Brothers-Keeper/Large-number-of-IDF-forces-gather-north-of-Hebron-in-search-for-kidnapped-teens-361048