IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Israel-Palestinian Tensions Near Breaking Point Over Dead Teens

Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians neared breaking point Tuesday after the bodies of an American and two other teens were found.

TEL AVIV, Israel - Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians neared breaking point Tuesday with a fresh wave of violence, recriminations and grief over the discovery of three kidnapped teens' bodies in a shallow West Bank grave.

Israel bombed 34 targets in Gaza overnight after rockets from the enclave hit the south of the country and held out the possibility of more violence. Hamas has threatened to "open the gates of hell" if Israel attacks the Gaza Strip.

Sign up for breaking news alerts from NBC News

The bombings come as the families of Eyal Yifrah, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, a 16-year-old Israeli-American prepared to hold a joint funeral for the teens in Modi'in cemetery, which lies in Israel and the occupied West Bank. Both Israel's prime minister and president will attend.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Hamas - which has kidnapped Israelis in the past - "will pay" for the kidnappings. While the militant group praised the abduction of the teenagers, it has not taken responsibility for the kidnapping.

"We have absolutely no interest in escalation with Hamas in Gaza but we will not succumb to rocket terrorism," Peter Lerner, a spokesman for Israel Defense Forces, said in a tweet.

Israel kept up its manhunt for the two men it believes were behind the killings - Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Aisheh - and who have not been seen since the teens disappeared on June 12 while hitchhiking home.

"We know their identity, we know they are Hamas activist for a fact," said Mark Regev, a spokesman for Netanyahu. "Our intelligence has proof and once they will be arrested they will be brought to trial and then the intel will reveal it to everyone."

Eight Palestinians have died since the disappearances and hundreds have been detained by Israeli forces. One Palestinian teenager was killed overnight after he threw a grenade at Israeli forces carrying out an arrest raid in the West Bank.

In the village of Halhul near Hebron, where the three bodies were found in a field on Monday, the suspects' homes were raided and at least partly destroyed.

Soldiers blew up a door of Abu Aisheh's home in Hebron, damaging to the home but not destroying it, an Israeli military official told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Despite the outpouring of grief in Israel overnight over the deaths of the three teens, there appeared to be no consensus among Israeli politicians and security forces over how to respond to the deaths.

According to the Israeli media, hardline members Netanyahu's government are pushing for a wide and punitive response while the armed forces are pursuing a pinpointed reaction to the killings.

Israelis turned out in force to mourn the teens, with large crowds visiting the homes of the bereaved families in the towns of Nof Ayalon, Elad and the West Bank settlement of Talmon. Large crowds gathered in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square and at the junction where the youths disappeared, praying, singing hymns and lighting candles shaped in the names of the youths and the Jewish Star of David.

Thousands of Israelis have died in wars and militant attacks over the years, and Israel has grappled with the abduction of soldiers and civilians in the past.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.