The Hamas operative who masterminded the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June has been indicted in IDF military courts, according to reports.
Hussam Hassan Qawasme is accused of receiving funds from his brother based in Gaza for the kidnap of 16-year-olds Naftali Frankel and Gilad Shaar and 19-year-old Eyal Yifrach.
He was arrested as he was trying to flee to Jordan with fake identification documents with the help of family members in Hebron. He was tracked down in the Shuafat refugee camp, according to the Shin Bet, Israeli intelligence.
Hussam's brother Hassin Qawasme is serving a life sentence for his role in the bomb attack on the International convention centre in Jerusalem in March 2011, according to the Jerusalem Post. A british tourist was killed in the attack and dozens were wounded.
Hassin was expelled to the Gaza Strip as part of a prisoner exchange to free Israeli soldier Gilad Shaltt, brokered with Hamas. During the interrogation, Hussam Qawasme confessed of being involved in the attack and named another two chief suspects: Marwan Qawasme and Amar Abu Aisha, who are still on the run.
In the aftermath of the teens' murder, Hamas refused to acknowledge responsibility for the crime. At the end of August, a senior official for the Islamist group finally took credit for the "heroic operation...in imprisoning the three settlers in Hebron".
Hamas' political leader Khaled Meshaal, who lives in Qatar, denied any prior knowledge of the abduction but praised the three captors of the Israeli teenagers.
In the aftermath of the kidnap, Israeli forces raided the West Bank and arrested a number of people linked to the Islamist group. In response, Hamas fired rockets into Israel which instigated the start of the IDF's 'Operation Protective Edge'.