Figuratively (and perhaps literally) speaking, in the tit-for-tat world of Israeli-Palestinian relations, Israel uses cannons against the Palestinians’ sling-shots.
On June 12th, three Israeli teenage boys disappeared while making their way home from their religious school in the West Bank.
According to Al-Jazeera, the three teens who disappeared, aged 16 and 19, were in an illegal Israeli settlement and they decided to hitchhike home.
One of the three managed to phone police to report that they were being kidnapped, according to an Israeli security official. It was first considered a prank, but later deemed to be truthful.
A massive Israeli search action ensued. In all, over 1,350 sites in the West Bank have been searched and more than 400 Palestinians have been arrested. Sources say that between two and five Palestinians lost their lives in the search action.
Some sources claim the Israeli IDF forces have raided charities, social welfare institutions, media offices and student groups – if they were suspected of having links to Hamas.
Monday, the bodies of the teens were discovered.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said “Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay.” He said the three “were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by wild beasts.”
Some sources claim that Israel has given little or no evidence to support the claim that Hamas is responsible.
Early Tuesday, the Israeli air force carried out air strikes against 34 targets in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, the army said. Israel claimed that the air strikes came after more than 20 rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza since Sunday.
Israeli military officials said they were focusing their efforts on finding the two suspected kidnappers, identified by Israel’s Shin Ben security service as Hamas operatives from the West Bank city of Hebron.
According to Palestinian witnesses, the Israeli military blew up the entrance ways into the two suspects’ homes. The two men remained on the run late Monday.