Israel responds to deaths of 3 teens with rockets, airstrikes - Tucson News Now

Israel responds to deaths of 3 teens with rockets, airstrikes

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vows Hamas will pay for the teens' deaths. (Source: CNN) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vows Hamas will pay for the teens' deaths. (Source: CNN)
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(CNN) - Violence ramped up in the West Bank after three kidnapped Israeli teens were found dead.

The Israeli military said that forces had carried out strikes against 34 targets in Gaza after the firing of 18 rockets at Israel since Sunday evening.

Mourners gathered in front of the Israeli consulate in New York on Monday, paying tribute to the three teens found dead in the West Bank two weeks after they were kidnapped.

President Obama, Pope Francis and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon all condemned the killings.

The teens disappeared from a Jewish settlement in the West Bank around mid-June.

Leehy Shaar, the aunt of Gilad Shaar, one of the kidnapped teens, described her nephew as "young and innocent" and calls news of the teens' deaths "too sad to imagine."

“They just found them, both bodies in the hole, and I guess they killed them, murdered them in the beginning,” Shaar said. “I didn't have a good feeling, the same feeling when they were kidnapped; I didn't feel good. Now unfortunately, I have the same bad feeling.”

Israeli authorities immediately pointed the finger at Hamas, the Palestinian organization labeled a terrorist group by both Israel and the U.S.

“Hamas says every Israeli man, woman and child - every civilian - is a legitimate target for these kinds of terrorist attacks,” Mark Regev, spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said.

And now Israel is striking back. Netanyahu vowed "Hamas will pay."

Israeli airstrikes hit targets throughout Gaza shortly after the teens' bodies were found.

“My prime minister was very clear,” Israeli Ambassador to U.S. Ron Dermer said. “Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay a very heavy price. Your government would do the same thing; any government would do the same thing.”

Israel called for the Palestinian authority to end its pact with Hamas.

The FBI is also investigating, as one of the teens had dual Israeli-U.S. citizenship.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has also called an emergency meeting of his government. The Palestinian leadership is expected to meet Tuesday to discuss the developments.

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