Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas challenged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on July 2 to condemn the abduction and murder of teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir in east Jerusalem.
Abbas accused extremist Jewish settlers of “killing and burning a little boy” and demanded Israel “hold the killers accountable”.
Just hours after Israel buried three teenagers recently murdered in the West Bank, relatives of Khdeir said the 17-year-old had been forced into a car in east Jerusalem before it sped off.
His burned body was found shortly afterward in a Jerusalem woodland beauty spot.
The young man’s cousin Saed Abu Khdeir said the family believed that he had been killed by Israelis in an act of revenge. “It’s a clear crime by settlers in revenge for the killing of the three,” he said.
As news of the youth’s disappearance spread, hundreds of Palestinians in east Jerusalem torched metro stations and hurled stones at Israeli police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades.
Netanyahu urged caution, calling on authorities to swiftly investigate the “reprehensible murder” and on all sides “not to take the law into their own hands”.
After the funerals on July 1, hundreds of right-wing Jewish youths marched through Jerusalem, chanting: “Death to the Arabs” and demanding revenge.
Israeli public security minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said: “Everything is being examined. There are many possibilities.
“There is a criminal possibility as well as a political one. I am telling everyone, let us wait patiently.”
His comments were in marked contrast to the Israeli government’s instant condemnation of Hamas for the murder of the three Israelis, which Hamas has denied.
Palestinians in the West Bank town of Aqrabeh said their home had been set on fire and “price tag” sprayed in Hebrew on the walls.
Zionist settlers have been carrying out so-called “price tag” attacks in recent years, targeting olive groves, mosques, churches, isolated Palestinian farms and pro-peace Israeli groups.
Israeli police and troops rarely arrive in time to prevent these attacks or arrest the perpetrators.
[Reprinted from Morning Star.]