[Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir, 16, whose charred body was found Wednesday morning (image by Ma’an)]
IMEMC News: The body of a Palestinian teenager was found burned to death in Jerusalem after a day and evening of Israeli protests that turned into mobs streaming through the streets of the Old City and east Jerusalem chanting ‘Death to Arabs’. At least 8 Palestinians had to be rescued from the mobs by police, and 47 people were arrested for disorderly conduct and property destruction.
16-year-old Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir was abducted from outside his home in Shu’fat in occupied east Jerusalem by a group of Israelis, who forced him into a car and sped off, according to local sources.
The teen’s burned body was found hours later in a vacant lot in another part of the city, sparking protests in his home neighborhood. Around 200 Palestinians took to the streets to voice their anger over the brutal killing of the child, and were met by rubber bullets and tear gas from Israeli police.
Twelve people were injured, including two journalists. One reporter with Palestine TV in Jerusalem, Christine Renawi, was shot by a rubber-coated steel bullet in her shoulder. Cameraman Ali Yassin was shot by a rubber-coated steel bullet in his arm. Israeli police remain in Shoefat, and have closed all entries to the neighborhood.
The abduction and killing of the 16-year old appears to be a ‘revenge attack’ for the deaths of three Israeli teenagers, whose bodies were discovered on Monday, according to local sources.
This incident followed several hours of right-wing Israeli protests and marches through the streets in which people shouted ‘Death to Arabs’, and pulled Palestinians out of their vehicles and beat them.
At the same time as the funeral of three Israeli settlers on Tuesday, protesters gathered in Jerusalem to hear speeches that called for ‘revenge’ against Palestinians for the deaths of the three youth. Very little information has been released about the deaths of the settlers, but two Palestinians were taken into custody and their homes exploded by the Israeli military.
Thousands of people attended the funeral of the three settlers, two of whom were 16 years old and the other who was an Israeli soldier age 19. At the funeral, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke in terms of contrasts, saying there is “a broad moral gulf (that) separates us from our enemies. They sanctify death, we sanctify life. They sanctify cruelty, and we mercy and compassion.”
He called for revenge against the Hamas party, “saying Hamas is responsible. Hamas will pay, and Hamas will continue to pay.” Hamas officials have vehemently denied any connection to the attack, and Israeli officials have presented no evidence linking them to the incident.
Amnesty International put out a statement warning against ‘revenge’ attacks, noting: “The Israeli authorities have not presented any evidence to back their assertion that Hamas or the two named suspects were responsible for the teens’ abductions and murders.”