JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israeli soldiers located the remains on Monday of three Israeli teens abducted on June 12 as they waited at a bus stop on their way home from school.
The bodies of Naftali Frenkel and Gil-ad Shaer, both 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19, were found in a shallow grave north of Hebron. Preliminary examination revealed they were shot to death shortly after they were kidnapped.
Israel's cabinet met in emergency session shortly after the discovery of the bodies to determine a response.
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon suggested Hamas will pay a steep price.
"We will not stop until Hamas is defeated," Danon said. "The homes of terrorists must be demolished and their arms caches destroyed. Our mission will not be complete until all the terror organizations are deterred from attacking Israelis and understand once and for all that the people of Israel will not be threatened."
Israel launched a massive manhunt for the missing youths, focusing at members of Hamas, the Palestinian faction suspected of being behind the kidnappings.
While Hamas initially denied its involvement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said there was hard evidence to the contrary.
Less than a week ago, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) released the names of two Palestinians believed to have kidnapped the teens, both Hamas members.
"The two main terrorists involved in the abduction are Marwan Kawasme and Amar Abu Aysha, Hamas activists from Hebron, who became fugitives immediately upon the perpetration of the kidnapping," the Shin Bet said in a statement released last Thursday.
On Sunday evening, thousands of Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square in support of the boy's families.