Friday, December 04, 2020

Three Israelis charged with murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir

By Lil Jackson - July 17, 2014
Section: [Main News] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [Gaza] [Operation Protective Edge]

Funeral of 16 year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir.  |   Photo courtesy of The Times of Israel


Three Israelis were formally charged with the kidnapping and murder of 16-year-old Palestinian, Mohammed Abu Khdeir today.

The three suspects, which included one 29 year-old and two 16 year-olds confessed to the murder of Abu Khdeir last week. The perpetrators reenacted the crime for Israeli police, showing them the route they had taken from the site of the abduction in Shu’afat, an East Jerusalem neighborhood, to where Mohammed’s body was left in an East Jerusalem forest.  A trial date has not yet been reported.

"The indictment that was filed details a grave and shocking act, perpetrated against a background of racism, against an innocent teenager," said Yehuda Weinstein, Israel's Attorney General, in a Justice Ministry statement.

Additionally, two of the suspects were charged with incitement in the attempted kidnapping of 7-year-old Mussa Zalum, who, at the time, was walking with his mother and brother in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina. The attempted kidnapping took place less than a day before the murder of Abu Khdeir, which Israeli police believe was in revenge for the murder and kidnapping of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah who were hitchhiking in the occupied West Bank when they were abducted.

Israeli officials asserted that Hamas was responsible for the June 12 kidnapping of Fraenkel, Shaer and Yifrah, though no evidence of this has been presented to the public. The Israeli military carried out a punitive crackdown in the West Bank in tandem with the manhunt for the three boys in the weeks between their abduction and the discovery of their bodies in a field near the site of the kidnapping. Israeli forces raided over 1,000 homes, demolished 17, arrested 328 Palestinians and fatally shot five, two of which were children.  

“Alongside mourning, we remain determined to punish evil terrorists with a firm hand. Our war on terrorism will only expand and will not be weakened so that murderous terrorism like this is able to raise its head.” said Shimon Peres, Israel’s President after the discovery of the three Israeli teens.

I pledge that the perpetrators of this horrific crime will face the full weight of the law… That's the difference between us and our neighbours. They consider murderers to be heroes. They name public squares after them. We don't. We condemn them and we put them on trial and we'll put them in prison." said Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

After discovering the bodies of the three Israeli teenagers and the murder of Abu Khdeir, racial tensions are mounting. Protests have taken place involving both Palestinians and Israelis. On the eve of Fraenkel, Shaer and Yifrah’s  funeral, a march broke out in Jerusalem in which participants chanted 'Death to the Arabs.' 

The news of Abu Khdeir’s death ignited violent clashesin East Jerusalem between Palestinian protestors and Israeli security forces. Palestinian citizens within Israel have also held protests.

The sentiments behind the protests have changed. Originally fueled by outrage surrounding Abu Khdeir’s death and the 'collective punishment’ in the Israeli crackdown on the West Bank, now, Palestinians within Israel and the West Bank are demonstrating in solidarity with Gaza and in opposition to Israel’s 'Operation Protective Edge’.

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