Ringleader in murders of teens gets life

The leader of the terrorist cell who kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teenagers in June was sentenced to three life sentences.

On Jan. 6, the Judea Military Court sentenced Hussam Kawasme of Hebron for planning and financing the kidnapping and murder of Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel, a dual Israeli American citizen. Kawasme, who was arrested in July, also was ordered to pay $63,000 to each of the three families.

He was convicted last week based on his own confession, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Kawasme did not see the boys as human and killed them because they were Jews, the military prosecutor said at the sentencing.

Kawasme said he used money provided by Hamas to buy the car used in the June 12 kidnapping, as well as four firearms. Kawasme said he helped bury the bodies on a plot of land he had purchased two months before the murders. He then helped hide the two men who drove the car and shot the teens. Those men, Marwan Kawasme and Omar Abu Aysha, were killed on Sept. 23 in a firefight with Israeli troops during an operation in Hebron to apprehend them.

The bodies of the three teens were discovered June 30, after a massive search, in a shallow grave in a field near Hebron.

Hussam Kawasme had served six years in an Israeli prison for his involvement in Hamas terror attacks. — jta