A Palestinian teenager was seen being forced into a car in East Jerusalem early Wednesday morning. The teen was killed, and his partially burned body was found in a nearby forest just hours later. Palestinians say the murder was revenge for the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped and killed earlier this month.
Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir was either 16 or 17. According to Palestinian witnesses, he was abducted by Israelis just before the pre-dawn meal for Ramadan. Mahmoud Abu Khdeir, Muhammad's imam and cousin, told The New York Times, "He was kidnapped and killed by the settlers, and the police know that very well. They are trying to say that it is an honor killing, and this is categorically not true."
Israeli Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich told Israelis on the radio, "There are attempts to make a connection between the two [kidnappings] and we are still checking ... all directions. There are many possibilities, criminal and nationalistic, and everything is being examined in a responsible manner."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the murder "despicable." He said Monday that "Hamas will pay" for the murder of the three Israeli teens.
The BBC and the Times both report that Palestinians, mostly teens, clashed with Israeli police near Khdeir's home. The Palestinians threw rocks, and the police responded with tear gas and grenades.
Yishai Frankel, the uncle of one of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped and killed, said today, "there is no difference between blood and blood. Murder is murder. Whatever the nationality or age are, there is no justification, no forgiveness or penance for any murder."
[Image via AP]