JERUSALEM — A Palestinian from the militant group Hamas was shot dead when he threw a grenade at forces carrying out an arrest raid in the West Bank hours after the discovery of the bodies of three Israeli teenagers who were abducted over two weeks ago, Israel's military said Tuesday.
Tensions have soared since the bodies were found, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blaming Hamas and warning it "will pay," while militants in Hamas-controlled Gaza have stepped up rocket attacks, drawing Israeli retaliatory airstrikes and risking a wider conflict.
Eyal Yifrah, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, a 16-year-old with dual Israeli-American citizenship, were abducted on June 12 while hitchhiking home from the Jewish seminaries where they were studying near the West Bank city of Hebron. The teens' bodies were found Monday evening after 18 days of intense searches.
A Defense official said based on the investigation that the teens were shot soon after they were abducted. He spoke anonymously in line with protocol as the investigation is still ongoing.
Hamas, which has kidnapped Israelis in the past, has praised the abduction of the teenagers but not taken responsibility for it.