GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Any Israeli action to punish Hamas for the alleged murder of three teenagers whose bodies were found on Monday would open "the gates of hell," the Islamist movement warned.
"If the occupiers carry out an escalation or a war, they will open the gates of hell on themselves," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP.
The warning came shortly after Israel confirmed finding the bodies of the three students who disappeared while hitchhiking in the southern West Bank on June 12.
The bodies were found in a field near Halhul some 10 minutes from the roadside spot where they were last seen, media reports said.
Israel has repeatedly accused Hamas of kidnapping the teens, two of whom were minors, and launched a major crackdown on the movement's West Bank infrastructure.
Hamas has dismissed the Israeli allegations as "stupid" with Abu Zuhri accusing Israel of fabricating the kidnapping as an excuse to crack down on the Islamist movement.
"The disappearance and murder of the three Israelis is only based on the Israeli narrative, and the occupation is trying to use this story to justify its extensive war against our people, against resistance and against Hamas," he charged.