Portraits of a kidnapper by Marissa Newman in Times of Israel, June 27
The Israeli press pieces together information about alleged abductors Amer Abu Aysha and Marwan Kawasme
|Amer abu Aysha and Marwan Kawasme- kidnapping suspects|
The Shin Bet’s release of the names of suspected kidnappers Amer Abu Aysha and Marwan Kawasme on Thursday night dominated headlines in Friday’s Hebrew papers, which profile the Hamas operatives at length.
Haaretz, Yedioth Ahronoth, and Israel Hayom provide nearly identical accounts on Abu Aysha and Kawasme, both missing from their homes since June 12 — the day of the kidnapping of Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gil-ad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16.
The papers report that the operatives were suspected by the Shin Bet immediately, and their houses in Hebron were raided in the days following the kidnapping. The two were well known to the Israeli authorities, the papers maintain, having been arrested and held in Israeli detention on multiple occasions for their alleged terrorism activity.
Kawasme was arrested five times, and in 2004, at the age of 18, spent 10 months in an Israeli prison. In 2010, in the course of an interrogation, Kawasme confessed to belonging to Hamas: He conceded that he had been involved in training operatives in caves around Hebron, that he oversaw the obtainment of materials to produce explosives, and that he recruited youngsters to the terror group. He was released in 2012.
Abu Aysha was arrested on two separate occasions, in 2005 and 2007, for involvement with the terror organization. His family has close ties to the organization.
Yedioth quotes a security official who maintains the two did not act alone, and that a number of detainees presently in custody may have assisted them. “It will take time, but eventually we will get our hands on them,” he said.