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

Amnesty: EU Failing Migrants, Refugees

Rights group says migrants, refugees subject to detention, extortion, beatings More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office 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.
Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deali
X
July 07, 2015 12:02 PM
If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs