March 20, 2024 | Flash Brief

Triple Murder Organizer Nabbed in Gaza Hospital

March 20, 2024 | Flash Brief

Triple Murder Organizer Nabbed in Gaza Hospital

Latest Developments

Israeli forces operating in the Gaza Strip’s biggest hospital captured a Hamas terrorist who helped plan a triple murder that sparked the 2014 war, the Shin Bet said on March 20. Mahmoud Qawasmeh was among some 300 Palestinians detained in Shifa Hospital during a raid that began on March 18. Two Israeli soldiers died in gun battles within the compound, while Israel killed 90 terrorists who had used the hospital as a hideout and operations center.

According to the Shin Bet, Qawasmeh was among the planners of Hamas’s abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers — Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel — in the West Bank on June 12, 2014. As Israeli forces mounted a crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank in response, the terrorist group launched rockets from the Gaza Strip, leading to an Israeli military operation there dubbed Protective Edge.

Originally from Hebron, Qawasmeh was among 1,027 jailed Palestinian terrorists swapped by Israel for a soldier held captive by Hamas, Gilad Shalit, in 2011. Qawasmeh has since served as a Gaza-based coordinator of terrorist operations in the West Bank. The then Turkey-based mastermind of the 2014 triple-murder, Saleh al-Arouri, went on to become the third-highest leader of Hamas. He was killed in a January 2 strike in Beirut that the group blamed on an Israeli drone strike.

Expert Analysis

“A decade on, Israelis have been receiving a measure of closure for the heinous murder perpetrated by Hamas against three Israeli youths. That Qawasmeh and before him Arouri have been brought to justice as part of the current war attests to the depth and reach of Hamas terrorism emanating from Gaza and Lebanon — and the need to destroy it, root and branch.”Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“The arrest of Qawasmeh demonstrates that those responsible for acts of terrorism against Israelis will ultimately meet justice. While Israel has successfully apprehended and eliminated numerous terrorists, including high-ranking members of Hamas, there are still key figures within the organization who remain at large. However, it is only a matter of time before Israel tracks them down as well.” Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Israel Arrests 180 Terror Suspects in Operation at Shifa Hospital,” FDD Flash Brief

White House: Israel Killed Hamas Deputy Chief,” FDD Flash Brief

IDF Targets Hamas Terrorists Using Shifa Hospital as Command Center,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas No. 3 Killed in Beirut Blast,” FDD Flash Brief


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