Just a short time after three murdered Israeli teens were buried, a 16 year old Palestinian boy, Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir, was forced to get into into a car.
At this stage, the identity of the perpetrators is not known. What is known is that the boy was killed, likely in revenge, after the three Israeli boys were abducted and killed. The charred remains of the boy’s body were found in a forest, on the outskirts of Shuafat.
He was apparently going to dawn prayers when he was abducted, forced into the car by two men on the sidewalk where he was walking, near where he lived. Shuafat is a Palestinian neighborhood of East Jerusalem.
The boy’s father has a photo of the two men who abducted Muhammad. They were seen on a surveillance video, across the street from where the men were, according to this story.
Prior to his abduction, around 200 Jews, labeled “extremists,” had marched through Jerusalem chanting slogans, including “Death to the Arabs,” and assaulting Arab Israelis on the streets.
Israeli authorities are investigating this tragic murder, and several Israeli and Palestinian officials have condemned it. Prime Minister Netanyahu called for all sides “not to take the law into their own hands.”
Speaking at the U.S. Embassy, Netanyahu said “Our security forces continue to investigate the background to the shocking murder of the boy whose body was found in the Jerusalem Forest. Whatever the motive may be – this murder must be strongly condemned and we will bring those responsible for this crime to justice. … Our hearts ache, our blood boils, but we must remember that we are, first and foremost, human beings, and we are citizens of a law-abiding country.”
Netanyahu’s words were in stark contrast to the silence of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas over the killing of the three Israeli boys. Abbas blamed Israel for this incident, but did not take responsibility for the deaths of the Israeli teenagers. The Fatah facebook page mocked the people grieving for the three boys, just as they had made fun of the kidnapping.
I unequivocally condemn the murder of a Palestinian youth in Jerusalem … we will bring to justice the perpetrators of this despicable crime – Benjamin Netanyahu
The U.S. State Department said “the United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the despicable and senseless abduction and murder of Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir. It is sickening to think of an innocent 17 year old boy snatched off the streets and his life stolen from him and his family. There are no words to convey adequately our condolences to the Palestinian people. I appeal to all the citizens of Israel and ask you: Please exercise restraint in your actions and words.”
This is an obvious case of violence leading to more violence. It seems that, as usual, the violence was started by the Palestinians, but the State Department says the cycle must be stopped.
“At this tense and dangerous moment, all parties must do everything in their power to protect the innocent and act with reasonableness and restraint, not recrimination and retribution.” – State Department