Israel air strikes: Gaza attacked after kidnapped teenagers found dead earlier in day.

Israel Strikes 34 Targets in Gaza Overnight as Officials Call for Eradication of Hamas

Israel Strikes 34 Targets in Gaza Overnight as Officials Call for Eradication of Hamas

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July 1 2014 1:06 AM

Israel Strikes 34 Targets in Gaza Overnight as Officials Call for Eradication of Hamas

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An explosion at the Hebron home of Amer Abu Aisha, who is suspected in the murder of three Israeli teenagers found dead yesterday. Eisheh's home and the home of another suspected kidnapper were destroyed yesterday night by Israeli forces.

HAZEM BADER/AFP/Getty Images

Hours after three Israeli teenagers who disappeared from the West Bank on June 12 were found dead, the Israeli air force carried out an attack overnight on what an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson described as 34 targets in Gaza. Though the prevailing Palestinian political force in the West Bank is the relatively moderate Fatah party, Israel believes Hamas (which is still considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department) perpetrated the murder of the teenagers—"Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay," said prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu tonight—and has struck in the group's power base, Gaza. (Fatah and Hamas recently announced a unity government plan, though similar accords in 2011 and 2012 did not actually lead to a reconciliation between the rival groups.)

Members of Netanyahu's Likud party are calling for the eradication of Hamas. Here's deputy defense minister Danny Danon, as quoted in Haaretz:

"The nation is strong and ready to absorb [attacks] for the sake of a mortal blow against Hamas. ... [W]e have to destroy the homes of Hamas activists, wipe out their arsenals everywhere, and stop the flow of money that directly or indirectly keeps terror alive."

And deputy transportation minister Tzipi Hotovely:

"The government of Israel must declare a war to the death on Hamas, which is responsible for the murders, and return to the policy of [targeted] assassination."

Israel suspects that Hamas-affiliated militants named Marwan Qawasameh and Amar Abu Aisha are responsible for the murder of the three teenagers; less than five hours after the announcement of the teens' deaths, Israeli forces cleared Qawasameh and Aisha's homes in the West Bank city of Hebron and then destroyed them with explosives. The whereabouts of the two suspects are unknown.