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Family of kidnap suspect deny Israeli accusations

June 27, 2014 2:31 P.M. (Updated: June 29, 2014 11:24 A.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- The father of one of the suspects named by Israel as being behind the disappearance of three Israeli youths has denied that his son was involved in the suspected kidnapping.

On Thursday, Israel named Marwan al-Qawasmeh, 29, and Amer Abu Eisha, 33, as the two main suspects behind the kidnapping of three Israeli youths on June 12.

Israel's Shin Bet said they had been jailed in the past for taking part in "terrorist activity on behalf of Hamas."

Speaking to Ma'an, Abu Eisha's father denied the allegations and said the family is worried that he has been detained and is being tortured by Israeli security forces.

"The occupation kidnapped my son Amer and I'm afraid they will kill him and say that they killed the terrorist and saved the settlers," Omar Abu Eisha said.

"I have not yet grasped that Amer and Marwan could kidnap three settlers from the most dangerous security square in Etzion. These are Israeli fabrications, whose goal could be is to strike Hamas in the West Bank and strike the national reconciliation," he added.

Omar Abu Eisha said that he was with his son Amer at a social event the night the three Israelis went missing, but said that later on in the night he could not find his son and he has been missing ever since.

"He told his wife that he might be away for two days for work in al-Eizariya, but he has not called and I am certain that Israel has kidnapped and hid him," he said.

Omar Abu Eisha told Ma'an that his son was "working hard and saving money" to build a new house.

The family of Marwan al-Qawasmeh refused to be interviewed or comment on the Israeli accusations.

Eisha was first arrested in Nov. 2005 and was held without trial or charge by Israeli forces until June 2006. He was re-arrested in April 2007 for a short period of time.

Eisha's brother was shot dead by Israeli forces in Nov. 2005 while ostensibly trying to "throw an explosive" at them, and his father had been arrested by Israel multiple times.

After the Israeli teens disappeared while hitchhiking in the West Bank, the army launched a vast hunt for them focusing on the Hebron area.

Israeli forces initially accused Hamas of the kidnapping, which it vigorously denied, and authorities vowed to "crush" the Palestinian political and militant group.

More than 120 Palestinians have been injured in the military operation, which Israel dubbed "Brother's Keeper," and more than 1,350 homes and offices, including numerous universities, have been raided.

The Palestinian Prisoner's Society said on Thursday that 566 Palestinians have been detained in the campaign, including 12 members of parliament.

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