Many Reasons to Doubt Hamas Vet’s Claims on Kidnapping

Experts See Arouri's Claim as Dubious

Saleh al-Arouri, a founder of Hamas’ Qassam Brigades, made headlines around the world when he claimed credit for the “kidnapping” of three Israeli teens, who were killed in June, on behalf of the brigades.

Experts say there is plenty of reason to question Arouri’s claims, not the least of which being that, after 15-plus years in Israeli prison starting in 1992 followed by exile, there is no sign he had any operation control left in the movement.

Rather, Arouri has been living in Turkey as a sort of informal “representative” for Hamas there. Speculation was that his claim was meant to bolster his own perceived influence within the movement.

The timing is bizarre, as Israeli intelligence already said they don’t believe Hamas did it. Furthermore, Arouri’s claim that the Brigades succeeded in “imprisoning the three settlers in Hebron” doesn’t fit with the facts.

That fits the now discredited early Israeli narrative, but the not the facts, as indeed the three teens were never successfully captured, and were simply killed on the spot.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.