One of the enduring claims related to the Gaza war is that pushed by New York Magazine author Katie Zavadski in a viral article originally titled: “It Turns Out Hamas Didn’t Kidnap and Kill 3 Israeli Teens After All (link goes to updated version, not original)(screenshot via Seth Frantzman):

https://twitter.com/sfrantzman/status/494216021016723457/photo/1

That claim gave rise to the meme that Israel had concocted a Hamas connection to the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in order to start the Gaza war.  At most, the story went, the kidnapping was carried out by a “lone cell” and thus could not be blamed on Hamas.

The claim, however, is falling apart both because it wasn’t backed up by facts and because Israel recently revealed that it had arrested the Hamas mastermind, and that there was a definite connection to Hamas.  For background, read these two posts:

Today more information was released which further undermines the NY Magazine story, Hamas West Bank head arrested, indicted for planning wave of terror attacks:

The head of Hamas in the West Bank since 2010 was recently arrested and was indicted on Thursday in the IDF West Bank Courts for organizing possibly dozens of terror cells for a wave of potential kidnappings, suicide bus bombings and attacks on settlements.

Arrested on May 27 prior to Operation Brothers’ Keeper, Riad Natzer, is accused of raising over NIS 1.5 million for terror operations, buying weapons for his operatives and organizing them into cells – each trained for a different kind of terror activity.

The arrest and case were all under gag order until it was removed Thursday with the filing of the indictment.

As part of Natzer’s alleged plans, weapons were concealed in designated spots throughout the West Bank, with instructions being passed on to other operatives who would use the weapons, all to await a day in which Natzer activated the operatives to carry out their attacks.

While this latest disclosure is not specific to the specific kidnapping, it does help destroy the notion that individual “lone” cells of Hamas actually operated independent of the larger effort to kidnap Israelis. That larger effort was a Hamas effort.