News / Middle East

Six Jewish Suspects Held in Palestinian Teen's Death

Israeli soldiers stand on their armoured personnel carrier (APC) in an army deployment area near the border with the Gaza Strip, July 6, 2014.
Israeli soldiers stand on their armoured personnel carrier (APC) in an army deployment area near the border with the Gaza Strip, July 6, 2014.
VOA News

Israeli police have arrested six Jewish suspects in the kidnapping and killing of a Palestinian teenager who was burned to death.

Authorities say the suspects in the killing of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir had "nationalist motives" and belonged to an "extremist Jewish group."   The killing, apparently in revenge of three Israeli teenagers who were abducted and later found dead, has set off four days of violent protests in Jerusalem and Israeli Arab towns.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again appealed for calm amid increasing tensions.

He vowed to "not allow extremists, it doesn't matter from which side, to set the region on fire and to bring a new wave of bloodshed.''

Israel's Shin Bet security agency said the suspects were being questioned at one of its installations.

Abu Khdeir's burnt body was discovered in a Jerusalem forest on Wednesday, a day after the burial of three Jewish teens who were abducted while hitchhiking in the occupied West Bank on June 12.

Their bodies were found on Monday, near the road where they had gone missing, and Israel blames Hamas militants for their kidnapping and killing. The Islamist group has neither confirmed nor denied involvement.

Arabs rioting

The kidnapping and murder on Wednesday of Abu Khdeir sparked four straight days of riots that began in annexed Arab east Jerusalem but on Saturday spread to more than half a dozen Arab towns in central and northern Israel.

The areas were largely quiet on Sunday, but police remained on high alert.

In east Jerusalem, home to the most violent protests over the teen's death, Abu Khdeir's mother, Suha, welcomed news of the arrests but said she had little faith in the Israeli justice system, according to the Associated Press.

“I don't have any peace in my heart. Even if they captured who they say killed my son,” she said. “They're only going to ask them questions and then release them. What's the point?"

“They need to treat them the way they treat us. They need to demolish their homes and round them up, the way they do it to our children,” she added.

Rocket attacks

Adding to the tensions, Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip have stepped up rocket attacks on southern Israel, drawing Israeli airstrikes in retaliation.

Late Sunday, the Israeli military said its airstrikes killed two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.  It said the strikes were in response to the more than 20 rockets that had been fired Sunday at Israel from the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu signalled that broader Israeli action was not imminent.

In remarks to his cabinet on Sunday, Netanyahu pledged "to do whatever is necessary" to restore quiet to southern Israeli communities that have come under rocket attack from the Gaza Strip, where Hamas is the dominant force.

But he also cautioned against any rush toward wider confrontation with the group, whose arsenal includes long-range rockets that can reach Israel's heartland and its business capital, Tel Aviv.

"Experience has shown that during moments like these, one must act in a level-headed and responsible manner and not hastily," Netanyahu told his cabinet, in broadcast remarks.

Tariq Khdeir, right, is greeted by his mother after being released from jail in Jerusalem, July 6, 2014.Tariq Khdeir, right, is greeted by his mother after being released from jail in Jerusalem, July 6, 2014.
x
Tariq Khdeir, right, is greeted by his mother after being released from jail in Jerusalem, July 6, 2014.
Tariq Khdeir, right, is greeted by his mother after being released from jail in Jerusalem, July 6, 2014.

American teen beaten

The parents of Mohammed Abu Khdeir's American-born cousin said Israeli police badly beat their son before arresting him Thursday.

Tariq Abu Khudair, a U.S. citizen, was visiting family in East Jerusalem when he was apprehended Thursday in clashes with police.

On Saturday, a video circulated on the Internet showing two Israeli border policemen beating a suspect, whom the parents identified as Tariq.

His parents said they barley recognized their son's badly swollen face when they saw him in a hospital.

A Jerusalem court on Sunday fined Tariq about $900 and sentenced him to nine days of house arrest, pending an investigation.

Police say he was armed with a slingshot used to hurl stones at security forces and resisted arrest.

As he left court, Tariq said he is OK now but described how police hit him.

''They hit me in the face, they hit me, they brutally hit me, they put me unconscious. I could not do anything about it," Tariq said.

His mother, Suha Abu Khdeir, protested the continued restrictions on her son.

"I feel like he does not deserve to be on house arrest out of his own home for nine days and have a bail.  On what charges?  He has not been charged.  There is no charge on him. Why are you putting him on house arrest?  It makes no sense.  I am American.  I know the American law.  This does not happen in America," said Suha Abu Khdeir.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the U.S. was profoundly troubled by the alleged police beating and strongly condemns any excessive use of force.

In a statement Sunday, Psaki said a U.S. Consulate General official was at Khdeir's court hearing. She said if the investigation is concluded promptly, the American teen "should be able to return to Florida as planned with his family later this month."  The teen's mother said the family hopes to return to the United States on July 16.

Israel's Justice Ministry reportedly launched a formal investigation.

Robert Berger contributed to this report from Jerusalem. Some information for this report was provided by Reuters, AP and AFP.

You May Like

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: jm Zip from: Chicago
July 06, 2014 10:36 AM
The sad truth that led to the burning alive of this young Palestinian boy was the fact the Israeli regime tried to use the death of the three teens as a reason to bomb Gaza to destroy Hamas as well as anyone that breathed. Unfortunately this backfired and triggered Jewish crazy Euro-trash to burn the boy alive. Thank God there is an after life. God is just, so even when these killers walk away, they'll be judged by the Creater.

by: GaryQ222 from: Florida
July 06, 2014 9:32 AM
The world is watching as to how Israel deals with this. Otherwise, we simply have terrorists on both sides.
In Response

by: Mahmoud Dahroug from: Portsaid, Egypt
July 06, 2014 10:30 AM
I agree!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More