News / Middle East

US Condemns Killing of Palestinian Teen

  • A Palestinian stone-thrower stands near a burning tire during clashes with Israeli police in Shuafat, an Arab suburb of Jerusalem, July 2, 2014.
  • An Israeli border police officer takes up position during clashes with Palestinian stone-throwers in Shuafat, an Arab suburb of Jerusalem, July 2, 2014.
  • A Palestinian hurls a stone towards Israeli police during clashes in Shuafat, an Arab suburb of Jerusalem, July 2, 2014.
  • Israeli army soldiers fire tear gas during clashes with Palestinians in an operation in the West Bank city of Jenin, July 2, 2014.
  • A Palestinian takes cover from tear gas fired by the Israeli troops during clashes with Palestinians in the West Bank city of Jenin, July 2, 2014.
  • Israeli soldiers detain a blindfolded Palestinian man in the West Bank city of Hebron, July 2, 2014.
  • Smoke rises from the family home of Palestinian Ziad Awad in the town of Idna, west of the West Bank city of Hebron, July 2, 2014. Israel accuses Awad of having killed an Israeli police officer in April.
VOA News

Secretary of State John Kerry has strongly condemned what he termed the "despicable and senseless abduction and murder" of Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir, a teenager who Palestinian residents suspect was kidnapped and killed in revenge for the deaths of three Israeli teens.

The Israeli youths were abducted June 12 while on their way home from school in the West Bank. Hostilities, simmering ever since, flared when their bodies were discovered Monday near Hebron.

The State Department, which had forcefully decried the Israeli teens' abduction, denounced the actions again Khdeir. The Arab teen's body was found early Wednesday morning in a wooded area near Jerusalem.

Authorities had received calls hours earlier that a Palestinian youth outside a mosque was forced into a car in an Arab section of the city. News accounts have differed on whether Khdeir was 16 or 17.

"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," Kerry's statement said. "There are no words to convey adequately our condolences to the Palestinian people."

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday the U.S. has no assessment yet of whether killing was revenge and urged all sides to behave responsibly.

"We look to both the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to take all necessary steps to prevent acts of violence and bring their perpetrators to justice," the statement said, adding that "violence only leads to more violence."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is urging all sides not to take the law into their own hands and called for a swift investigation into the abduction of the Palestinian teenager.

Police have yet to confirm that the body found is that of Mohammed Abu Khudair. But witnesses say they saw several Israelis forcing him into a car in East Jerusalem before speeding off.

Netanyahu said he has asked law enforcement to find out who was behind the  "reprehensible murder."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for Netanyahu to condemn the killing, just as he did in the case of the Israeli teens.

Clashes erupt

The discovery of Khdeir's body sparked new outrage, with several hundred Palestinians protesting in East Jerusalem. They threw stones as they clashed with Israeli security forces, who responded with rubber bullets and tear gas.

Israeli police said the abduction may have been a revenge killing by Jews or a criminal act, such as a feud between Arab clans.

Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino urged the public not to draw conclusions and to act with restraint.

There were also smaller-scale clashes in the West Bank city of Jenin after Israeli forces raided the area.

On Tuesday, tens of thousands of people gathered in central Israel for the burial of the three Israeli teenagers. Israeli leaders have accused Hamas of abducting and killing the three and vowed to punish the militant group. 

Hamas has neither confirmed nor denied Israel's allegations about its role in the disappearance of the students.

Authorities arrested hundreds of Hamas members while searching for the teens.

Robert Berger contributed to this report from Jerusalem.

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Comment Sorting
by: meanbill from: USA
July 02, 2014 9:30 PM
QUESTION? -- Was the revenge killing for (3) Israeli students, worth creating a million jihadists.... Israel has lost it's moral compass, and soon it'll need more and more stronger and higher walls, for the arrogant retaliation attacks on the Palestinians...

by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
July 02, 2014 7:12 PM
Israel is different, the fact that the Palestinians kidnapped those kids and murdered them, had it been the Palestinians, they would have fired hundred rockets into Israeli civilians area. But Israel is not like them. Israel fire into their target. Israel has one of the train military in the world. so they don't need to captured a kid and killed for retaliation. This is nonsense, and a cheap propaganda. Those who kidnapped those kids and killed need to taste the same death and see how it feels. Israel needs to sent a strong and a clear message to her enemies. God Bless Israel

by: sujaye from: usa
July 02, 2014 6:54 PM
Kerry jumped the gun. It has not been determined if it was in fact a revenge killing. The kid could have been gay or other family and clan problems. Either way it is horrible but let's not come to quick conclusions yet !

by: valentine from: lagos
July 02, 2014 6:41 PM
Danika, u r very correct.
U r intelligent too.

by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
July 02, 2014 5:38 PM
The Palestinian kid was kidnapped and murder by his own people. Israel will not do such a vigorous act. Israel will hit directly at a target. She doesn't need to captured a Palestinian teen and killed him in retaliation. Which of course we do want Israel to retaliate. Such a act cannot continue. This is not conductive for Israel nor the Palestinians. Where are the future for the youth? The Palestinians leaders should be held accountable for thier action. They don't expect to hit Israel and thinking that Israel will not hit back, you have lost your mind. We support the action of Israel against terrorists. There is no way any country should live like this. Those who killed those kids mush be brought to justice.
In Response

by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
July 02, 2014 9:27 PM
John,The Palestinians do more then what Israel is doing. Israel is doing that for cost. The Palestinians fired rocket into Israel for no reason, then when Israel retaliate, the world wants to blame Israel. Why the media cannot report the killing of the Palestinian Christians who have been slaughter in the hands of their Arab neighbors day and night? Is this not a two way streets? Yes we do support that slogan NEVER AGAIN. There is no way that certain group will just sit there and decide to get rid of one ethnic group. No you must fight back. and that is what Israel is doing. Do you know that the grand muffi of Jerusalem ( A PALESTINIAN) was one of those who were behind Hitler final solution? The Palestinians hands are stained with the Jewish people blood also.What give them the right to killed the Jews and the Jews cannot do the same? All that nonsense Mr. Putin was doing, flying F-16 closed to the US coast, if he was going to fired rocket into the US, believe ii or not, the US was going to retaliate. No country has the right to fire rocket into another Country.
In Response

by: JOHN27865 from: USA
July 02, 2014 6:17 PM
Leroy you must be right. Israel cannot kidnapped and killed any Palestinian but in broad day light captured hundreds of them, bulldozed their homes, killed several during such operations and more over still CRY loudly and chant day and nights "NEVER AGAIN"

by: Danika from: Canada
July 02, 2014 3:42 PM
hey it would be prudent to remember that we are dealing here with Arabs - who strap suicide vests on their children just to kill some innocent Israeli... so, the death of this Arab could have very well been a killing by his own Arab "friends" just to avert a concerted Israeli response...

by: ali baba from: new york
July 02, 2014 12:28 PM
Those who kidnapped three teenage and killed them have committed a crime. Israel or any country in the world has to keep her citizen safe. Palestinian Understand this fact. They understand that Israeli will retaliate excessively and disproportionally. The question Why they kidnapped them on the first place.

It looks that extremist has been motivated by Iraq situation and acted up. There will be massive bombing and innocent people will be killed. unfortunately, massive bombing and retaliation are the only way to deal with extremist. Those who want to give us lesson of human behavior , should give the lesson to Muslim extremist .Muslim extremists are barbaric and they take advantage of the weak. they understand the language of power

by: Igor from: Russia
July 02, 2014 5:57 AM
Those who are responsible for the killing of three Israeli teenagers must be punished. But those who kidnapped and killed the Palestinian youth must also be punished. If you treats others as animals you will never expected others to treat you as human being.
In Response

by: 1worldnow from: Earth
July 02, 2014 8:27 AM
Well said!

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