“We opened fire, they returned fire and they were killed in the exchange” — is this how Israelis attempt to arrest criminal suspects? By first shooting at them?
Reuters reports: Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron on Tuesday and the military said they were members of Hamas responsible for the killing of three Israeli youths in June, an attack that led to the Gaza war.
Marwan Kawasme and Amar Abu Aysha, both in their 30s, were shot dead during a gun battle after Israeli troops surrounded a house in the city before dawn, the army and residents said. Israel had been hunting the men for three months.
Kawasme and Abu Aysha were suspected of carrying out the kidnapping and killing of the three teenage seminary students, who were abducted while hitchhiking at night near a Jewish settlement in the West Bank on June 12.
The military said army and police forces were trying to arrest the two suspects when a firefight erupted.
“We opened fire, they returned fire and they were killed in the exchange,” Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner said.
The Times of Israel reports: Palestinian security cooperation with Israel enabled Israel to target and kill two Hamas operatives suspected of kidnapping and killing three Israeli teenagers in June, a Hamas official in Gaza charged on Tuesday.
Salah Bardawil said in a statement published on Hamas’s official website that “the success of the Israeli occupation in assassinating the perpetrators of the Hebron operation [sic] early Tuesday morning was due to the security cooperation in the occupied West Bank.”
By killing Marwan Kawasme and Amer Abu Aysha rather than arresting them, Israel has avoided the politically risky process of putting them on trial — a trial which might have highlighted that the two men were not following directions from Hamas and thus Netanyahu’s pretext for the most recent war on Gaza was baseless.
That the killings happened at the very same time that the international media is firmly focused on U.S. airstrikes in Syria must surely just be a coincidence. Right?