Terrorist who planned and funded teens' kidnapping was released for Gilad and deported to Gaza
Last week, I reported on the arrest of Hussam Kawasme, the confessed ringleader
of the plot to kidnap Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach HY"D (May God Avenge their blood) in June. Two other terrorists who are also members of the Hebron Kawasme clan - Marwan Kawasme and Omar Abu Aysha - are wanted in connection with the kidnapping and remain at large. Now, the Times of Israel reports that a third Kawasme brother, Mahmoud Kawasme, who was released as part of the terrorists for Gilad trade and deported to Gaza, has become very close with Hamas in Gaza, and planned and funded the operation
on Hamas' behalf.
Mahmoud Ali Kawasme was one of the Palestinian inmates deported to Gaza in the 2011 prisoner swap for Gilad Shalit.
He is suspected of funding and planning the
June 12 West Bank attack in which Israeli students Gil-ad Shaar, Eyal
Yifrach and Naftali Fraenkel were abducted and killed near Hebron.
His ties to the attack and to Hamas will
likely further implicate the terror group in the killings. Israel has
alleged Hamas involvement, though Hamas’s leadership has denied any
connection to the scheme.
Mahmoud Kawasme’s brother, Hussam, was recently arrested by the Shin Bet and the police anti-terror unit near Jerusalem.
Hussam Kawasme admitted during his
interrogation that he was the commander of the two kidnappers, Marwan
Kawasme and Omar Abu Aysha. All four live in the same area of Hebron.
The latter two are from the Haris neighborhood, while the families of
Hussam and Mahmoud live in the nearby Wadi Abu Ktayla neighborhood in
the northwestern part of the city.
Mahmoud Kawasme is a known Hamas operative who
was imprisoned in Israel until the Gilad Shalit deal, when he was
deported to Gaza under the terms of the agreement, which also obligated
the former prisoners to not return to terror.
Kawasme, though, continued to work with
members of Hamas’s military wing there, in an attempt to bring about
terror attacks in the West Bank. He maintained contacts with terror
operatives in Hebron, as well as other cities like Tulkarm.
According to Palestinian sources, Mahmoud
Kawasme initiated and planned the kidnapping along with his brother
Hussam. Senior members of Hamas’s military wing were aware of the plan,
and gave him money to fund the attack. The kidnappers needed vehicles,
Israeli license plates, weapons, and safe houses.
Israel has not rushed to blame Hamas’s senior
leadership for the kidnapping and murder. Israeli officials have said
there was a general directive for a kidnapping and funding for it, but
there is still no proof of a direct order to kidnap the teens.
Labels: deportation, Gaza, Hamas, Hebron, kidnapping, murder, terrorists for Gilad trade