After the bodies of three kidnapped Israeli teens were found near where they were last seen in the West bank, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that "Hamas will pay"—and within hours, Israeli jets and helicopters began dozens of airstrikes on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. There were at least 34 airstrikes overnight, reports the New York Times, which calls the strikes an escalation of two weeks of skirmishes that have included the firing of rockets into Israel. More:
- In the West Bank city of Hebron, witnesses say the Israeli military has blown up the homes of Hamas suspects Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Eisheh, in the first punitive demolitions since Israel abandoned the practice in 2005, reports the Guardian. The two suspects disappeared shortly after the abduction.
- According to reports in the Israeli media, investigators believe the three teens were shot dead within minutes of being kidnapped, after one of them managed to call an emergency hotline. Their bodies were found in a field near Hebron 19 days after they disappeared.
- A Hamas spokesman says "no Palestinian group, Hamas or any other group," has taken responsibility for the killings. He accuses Israel of using the kidnap to justify attacks on Palestinians, and warns that if Israeli forces "carry out an escalation or a war, they will open the gates of hell on themselves," the BBC reports.
- One of the teens held American citizenship and President Obama has issued a statement saying "as a father, I cannot imagine the indescribable pain that the parents of these teenage boys are experiencing." He also urged "all parties to refrain from steps that could further destabilize the situation."
- A West Bank man shot in the chest early today has become the sixth Palestinian to be killed by the Israeli military since the teenagers' disappearance sparked a huge crackdown, reports CNN.
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