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Israeli youths Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach were killed in JuneReuters

A Palestinian man has been sentenced to life in jail for the killing of three Israelis which led to last year's Gaza strip crisis.

Hussam Kawasmeh, believed to be a member of the militant Hamas group, was found guilty of planning the abduction and murder of Eyal Yifrah, 19, and Gilad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel, both 16, in the occupied West Bank in June.

At the military court in Ofer Prison, one of the presiding judges described their deaths as one of the worst cases of kidnapping and murder Israel has ever seen and "had a great influence on the security situation".

"The accused was convicted of the most serious crimes...the cold-blooded and terrible murder of three young people who were going home to their families," the judge added, according to court documents.

The three Israeli bodies were found nearly three weeks after they went missing after going hitchhiking. Their murder led to the revenge killing of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khudair, which in turn led to the start of the 50-day war on the Gaza strip.

Kawasmeh has now been sentenced to three life sentences for his involvement in the deaths of the Israeli youths.

Two more Hamas operatives suspected of killed the teenagers - Amer Abu Eisha, 32, and Marwan Kawasme, 29 - were shot dead by Israeli forces at their West Bank hideout last September.