Palestinian, 16, abducted, killed in suspected retaliation for deaths of 3 Jewish teens

 

McClatchy Foreign Staff

Anger over the killings of three Israeli teenagers kidnapped in the West Bank plunged Israel into another round of violence and recriminations Wednesday as the discovery of the charred body of an Arab teenager set off hours of clashes between enraged Palestinians and police.

Police said they were investigating whether the death of the Arab teenager, whose body was found in a forest near a Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem following reports that he had been forced into a car, was an act of revenge for the deaths of the Israelis, who also were last seen getting into a car. Their bodies were discovered Monday buried in a field in the West Bank, 18 days after their disappearance.

“We are still checking in all directions,” Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich said after a meeting with top police commanders.

Tuesday night, hours after a joint funeral for the three Israelis, crowds of Jewish youths rampaged through downtown Jerusalem, shouting “Death to Arabs” and assaulting Palestinian workers in the area. Some boarded the light rail train running through the city and attacked Arab passengers.

Witnesses in the Palestinian neighborhood of Shuafat in East Jerusalem said that Muhammad Abu Khdeir, 16, had been outside the local mosque about 3:45 a.m. on Wednesday, before the dawn prayer during the holy month of Ramadan.

A car pulled up and its occupants pulled the teenager inside the vehicle and sped away as local youths gave chase, residents said.

About an hour and a half later, the youth’s burned body was found in the Jerusalem Forest, a natural area bordered by Jewish neighborhoods.

Micky Rosenfeld, an Israeli police spokesman, said that police received an initial report that Abu Khdeir had been forcibly bundled into a car, followed by a later phone call from the teenager’s parents, reporting him missing.

News of the death set off street clashes in Shuafat between groups of youths who hurled stones at police, set up burning barricades and torched a station of the Israeli-run light rail line. Riot officers responded with stun grenades, tear gas and rubber-coated bullets.

Palestinians accused Israeli settlers of carrying out the slaying.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who had condemned the abduction of the three Israeli teens in the West Bank, demanded that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issue a similar condemnation of the slaying of Abu Khdeir.

“The president demands that Israel take real steps to end the settler attacks and chaos caused by the Israeli government’s policy on the ground,” said a statement carried by WAFA, the official Palestinian news agency.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Abbas, said Israel bore responsibility for the slaying, and he demanded that the Israeli authorities bring the killers to justice.

Dimitri Diliani, a senior official of Abbas’ Fatah movement from East Jerusalem, accused the Israeli government of providing cover for violence by Jewish extremists and called for tough action by Netanyahu.

“Will Netanyahu block off the settlements and will his forces raid the settlements and arrest 600 settlers?” Diliani asked, alluding to a crackdown by Israeli forces in Palestinian cities and towns in the West Bank following the June 12 abduction of the three Israeli teens.

Netanyahu stopped short of condemning the killing of Abu Khdeir but issued a statement saying that he had ordered a speedy investigation to discover “who is behind the despicable murder, and the background of the deed.”

“The prime minister calls on all parties not to take the law into their own hands _ Israel is a law-abiding state and it is incumbent on everyone to obey the law,” the statement said.

The mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, condemned the killing as a “shocking and barbaric murder,” and urged restraint. “Our aim is to return to normal as fast as possible,” he said.

Greenberg is a McClatchy special correspondent.

Read more World Wires stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a press conference in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.  Rouhani declined to answer a question about a detained Washington Post journalist, Jason Rezaian. Rezaian and his wife Yeganeh Salehi, a correspondent for the Abu Dhabi-based daily newspaper The National, who have been held for more than a month. Iranian officials have not specifically said why Rezaian and his wife were detained.

    Iran's president dodges question on held reporter

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declined to specifically discuss the case of a detained Washington Post journalist during a nationally televised news conference Saturday.

  • Bahraini activist detained on arrival to kingdom

    Police detained Bahraini human rights campaigner Maryam al-Khawaja after her arrival in the Gulf country on Saturday, her mother said.

  •  
North Korean women, dressed in traditional Chogori watch a pro wrestling exhibition, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014 in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Koreans got their first look at pro wrestling in about 20-years on Saturday when former NFL lineman Bob "The Beast" Sapp, and 20 other fighters from around the world took to the ring for an exhibition in Pyongyang, put together by colourful Japanese pro-wrestler Kanji "Antonio" Inoki, who is now a member of parliament.

    Pro wrestling returns to the ring in North Korea

    North Koreans got their first look at pro wrestling in about 20 years on Saturday when an ex-NFL lineman and 20 other grapplers from around the world took to the ring for an exhibition put together by a charismatic former Japanese pro-wrestler who is now a member of parliament.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category