- The suspects opened fire on security forces, prompting them to fire back
- The kidnappings set in motion a series of events that led to seven weeks of heavy fighting
A Palestinian man who Israel says was responsible for the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens earlier in the summer was shot and killed by the military. Another suspect was seriously wounded, the military said Tuesday.
The suspects opened fire on security forces, prompting them to fire back, the military said.
"We were determined in bringing the ruthless murderers of Gil-Ad, Eyal and Naftali to justice," said military spokesman Peter Lerner. "Today's successful mission brings the long-term search to an end, and the perpetrators of the crime no longer pose a threat to Israeli civilians."
Tensions between Israel and Hamas ratcheted up June 30 after the bodies of three Israeli teenagers were found in the West Bank. Reprisal attacks, rocket fire and retaliatory airstrikes followed. Seven weeks of heavy fighting ensued, with more than 2,000 Palestinians and 67 Israeli deaths.
The teens -- Eyal Yifrach, 19; Gilad Shaar, 16; and Naftali Frankel, a 16-year-old dual U.S.-Israeli citizen -- disappeared late June 12 or early June 13 from the Jewish settlement of Gush Etzion in the West Bank, the military said.
Israel blamed the disappearances and deaths on Hamas.
"Hamas will pay," said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the time.
A Hamas official admitted that the act was carried out by Hamas militants. The official said the attackers did not tell their leaders.
The two suspects were Hamas operatives, the military said Tuesday.
Hundreds of Israeli military vehicles and soldiers moved in to the neighborhood north of Hebron University and surrounded a house in the early morning hours.
The journalist heard gunfire break out about an hour after the forces moved in, but could not say who was responsible for the shooting as journalists were kept away from the scene.