News / Middle East

Clashes Erupt in East Jerusalem After Palestinian Funeral

Palestinians carry the body of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khudair during his funeral in Shuafat, an Arab suburb of Jerusalem, July 4, 2014.
Palestinians carry the body of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khudair during his funeral in Shuafat, an Arab suburb of Jerusalem, July 4, 2014.
Robert Berger

Israeli police fired tear gas and stun grenades at stone-throwing Palestinians Friday, as thousands mourned a 16-year-old boy believed killed in revenge for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers.  

The clashes erupted after Friday prayers as residents buried Mohammed Abu Khudair. Palestinians say his death was in response for the murder last month of the Jewish teenagers, which in turn has been blamed on the militant group Hamas.

The apparent tit-for-tat killings have stoked anger throughout the region, threatening to unleash a new cycle of violence and recrimination from both sides.

Khudair's body was discovered Wednesday in a Jerusalem forest about an hour after he was forced into a car. Israeli police are investigating whether it was indeed a revenge killing, possibly by Jewish militants.

“I unequivocally condemn the murder of a Palestinian youth in Jerusalem. We don't know yet the motives or the identities of the perpetrators, but we will,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “We will bring to justice the criminals responsible for this despicable crime whoever they may be. Murder, riots, incitement, vigilantism, they have no place in our democracy.”

Growing unrest

Israel police tosses a grenade towards Palestinians protesters on July 4, 2014.Israel police tosses a grenade towards Palestinians protesters on July 4, 2014.
x
Israel police tosses a grenade towards Palestinians protesters on July 4, 2014.
Israel police tosses a grenade towards Palestinians protesters on July 4, 2014.

The discovery of Khudair’s body prompted days of unrest in East Jerusalem and elsewhere. 

His funeral Friday, in the Arab neighborhood of Shuafat, coincided with the first Friday prayer services of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Thousands jammed the neighborhood, many chanting slogans and waving flags of Hamas, the Palestinian Liberation Organization and also the radical group Islamic Jihad.

Afterward protesters in other Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem and outside the walled Old City burned tires, blocked roads and lobbed rocks at Israeli police, who responded with stun grenades and tear gas.

“It’s anger. This is the word I can say. It’s anger. Everyone has that feeling inside. Why? Why Mohammed?” Khudair’s cousin, Ansa, said at the funeral.

The Jewish teenagers’ June 12 abduction and killing sparked widespread outrage in Israeli society. At protests earlier, some Israelis could be heard chanting "Death to the Arabs."

Hamas has denied killing the Israeli teens, though some of its leaders have said such an action would be a justified response to what they view as Israeli injustices.

Military responses

The Israeli military has massed troops near Gaza and conducted airstrikes aimed at Hamas, which responded with rocket salvos into Israel. Israeli military spokesman Peter Lerner said Thursday the reinforcement along the Gaza border was defensive.

Netanyahu warned, though, that the troops will "act forcefully" if Gaza militants do not stop launching rockets.

SderotSderot
x
Sderot
Sderot

Israeli officials said four projectiles were launched Friday into southern Israel; one was intercepted, while two hit "open areas" near Sderot. No injuries were reported.

Israeli officials told local media that a cease-fire was being negotiated, but warned that any agreement was contingent on whether rocket barrage continues. Israeli officials say the troop reinforcement along the Gaza border is defensive.

Hamas spokeswoman Isra al-Modallal told VOA that Hamas leaders do not want the conflict to intensify.

“I think they don't want it this time; not because they aren't prepared, but because the situation is really difficult and they don't know if they had an aggression or exchanged fire against the Israelis if they would still be able to have a strong resistance here in Gaza, especially now that it's under a blockade, there are no tunnels, not anymore relations with Egypt," al-Modallal said.

Israeli officials said Thursday that four soldiers have been jailed after they posted pictures on social media calling for revenge attacks on Palestinians.

The violence has raised fears that a Palestinian intifada, or uprising, could result.

  • Palestinians look on as they stand in front of a poster depicting 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khudair during his funeral in Shuafat, an Arab suburb of Jerusalem, July 4, 2014.
  • Palestinians carry the body of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khudair during his funeral in Shuafat, an Arab suburb of Jerusalem, July 4, 2014.
  • A masked Palestinian youth looks on from atop a pole during the funeral of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khudair in Shuafat, an Arab suburb of Jerusalem, July 4, 2014.
  • A masked Palestinian youth is hosed down with water to cool down from the afternoon heat at the funeral of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khudair in Shuafat, an Arab suburb of Jerusalem, July 4, 2014.

You May Like

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
July 04, 2014 7:20 PM
This is a continued circle of violence, cuz in at much the Palestinians are firing rockets into Israel, killing the Jews, Israel will response back with a great impact in Gaza that will destabilize the whole region. And the Palestinians don't want this to happen, cuz Israel will do whatever it takes to peace and stability to her people. And we support the actions of Israel. Enough is really enough.

by: Anthonybellchambers from: London
July 04, 2014 5:03 PM

Is Israel deliberately trying to force new intifada by increasing its illegal settlements in West Bank & Jerusalem in contempt of UN and world condemnation

http://972mag.com/is-netanyahu-trying-to-force-a-third-intifada/92320/

by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
July 04, 2014 1:56 PM
These are the things they do that makes Israel to look bad in the eyes of the world. And really this a cheap propaganda. Hamas has kidnapped this kid and killed him, then they are putting the blame of Israel, cuz they want to incite more violence in the region and against the Jews. After their prayer, more violence escalated. That kid was not murder by Israel, Israel has lot of Palestinians in prison, if they wanted to take revenge, they would have kill lot of them in prison. The Palestinians are the ones with that anger and hatred for the Jews. Those people are cowards, as soon fighting begin, they will be the ones crying on TV, the Jews are killing our people, the Jews, the Jews , please.

From Jerusalem post, VOA, Facebook and every media I can get my hands on, I wrote there will be no peace in the region. You are dealing with unwanted elements in society. Society doesn't need these kind of people.

Whatever that is going on, blame Hamas, Iran, and Hezbollah. They are the ones who are responsible for this. If they had kidnapped those Jewish teens, we were not going to see what we are seeing today. Even if they say Israel killed that kid, then one must ask, what brought about the killing of that kid?

Very simple, Hamas kidnapped those Jewish teens and killed them. My question to the Palestinians is, what give your the right to killed those Jewish kids and Israel cannot do the same? Treat people the way you want them to treat you. You cannot killed those Jewish teens and you think is ok, are the Jews blood are not important too? If you don't want Israel to killed you, don't kill them too. If the Palestinians stop the killing of the Jews, then peace will come to the land. Be bless Israel, we support you

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 04, 2014 12:13 PM
Question is how Palestinians have done this and want to use it to whip up sentiment against Israel. Unfortunately the world today is filled with people who reason from the wrong side of their brain. Otherwise the handwriting was on the wall before the case came up. Simply put, the Palestinian fundamentalist hardliners who will spare nothing to uphold the fable of islam, including murdering their own children, capitalized on the trouble on ground to liquidate an "unwanted" teenager who must have been bone in the neck for being what the muslim religion rejects. Imagine the man in Sudan disowning his own sister saying he would kill the lady for abandoning the region if the court freed her. Same applies here, and even worse, because they have refused to see Israel exist because their religion upholds the hatred and killing of Jews. So someone should read in between lines to understand the family of the teen boy must have done the killing using the most auspicious time provided by the barbaric killing of the Israeli trio. Calling it a revenge killing is just accepting to be both naive and foolish at the same time.

I do not understand what Israel delays about worrying about intifada, what is the ceasefire all about, has there been war going on? In real fact Israel is disappointing some Arab countries who do not welcome the existence of both Hamas and Hezbollah, as recent polls have proved. Even the West bank should be much relieved to have Hamas disarmed at this point in time. What if the accusation of killing the three teens sticks on Hamas, won't it be the right time to at least use whatever it takes to disarm and/or dislodge the militancy in the area? For when that is done, the Palestinians will find a reason to be one front under Abbas to seek for peace with Israel, not when the Hamas impostors are there giving false hope of the "Resistance / Liberation" to the people. No, that negotiation of ceasefire is a postponement of the evil day. The disarming of Hamas is either now or never.

by: godmanneo from: The Spirit
July 04, 2014 11:25 AM
The living God. The father of Abraham, Issac, Jacob. The God of Israel. His hand is against all those who are against Israel. God help them
In Response

by: arlo_sleepyhead from: SW Florida
July 05, 2014 12:08 AM
sovereign, who is doing the ethnic cleansing? The Palestinians constantly claim there will be no peace until the Jews are driven into the sea. Arabs in Israel are allowed to vote and have more human rights than in any other Arab country. They even serve in the Knesset!
In Response

by: sovereign
July 04, 2014 4:56 PM
God help those who use religion to justify the ethnic cleansing of a people. Do you also believe those that curse their mother or father or disobedient children should be put to death?

by: Josh from: usa
July 04, 2014 9:53 AM
I think the world could do with out a terrorist run regime that hides behind innocent women and children
In Response

by: Deborah Zaki from: USA
July 04, 2014 11:20 AM
This regime is not hiding behind women and children. These are families who are having their land and homes stolen by a racist apartheid government. The Israelis use lobbies and media to brain wash the USA into believing their apartheid propaganda. The USA politicians are for sale to foreign governments and foreign lobbies; thus THREE BILLION USA tax dollars goes to the racist state of Israel yearly!

by: Ranger Dan Parsons from: USA
July 04, 2014 9:52 AM
This conflict has become little more than a ceaseless series of revenge killings, not much more than a large scale "Hatfield & McCoy" war. I thought it couldn't get any worse, but now they are murdering each other's children. God is watching this.

by: Misty Martin from: Florida
July 04, 2014 9:29 AM
Why is the USA involved with any of them? Why are we financing the spread of Israel?
In Response

by: godmanneo from: usa
July 04, 2014 11:28 AM
You do not know what you are saying. Israel funds Israel. The USA funds muslim extreme.

by: senseof fairness from: manchester
July 04, 2014 9:28 AM
Israelis hold peace rallies for murder of three. Palestinian murder of one - which might be an inter-family dispute as the young man is gay - they don't wait to riot.
In Response

by: Deborah Zaki from: USA
July 04, 2014 11:25 AM
Your comment about the reason for kidnapping a teenager is sick. Are you also saying the three Israeli teens that were also kidnapped and murdered was because the Israeli teens were gay also? Who cares if someone is gay? They should not be kidnapped and executed by extremists and if they are not your accusations are shameful.
In Response

by: sense of logic from: London
July 04, 2014 11:03 AM
Then why don't you apply the same hypothesis of yours to what happened to the three israeli boys. It is a sad thing what happened on both sides, but please don't a double standard person.

by: meanbill from: USA
July 04, 2014 8:44 AM
A WISE MAN would ask, Why does Israel keep building those walls around their cities and towns, if they fear attacks from missiles, rockets, and warplanes, and what are the walls going to protect them from?..... a Palestinian?
In Response

by: arlo_sleepyhead from: SW Florida
July 05, 2014 12:01 AM
godmanneo, why would the Israeli's want to fulfill Revelations?
In Response

by: ShuMot from: Brooklyn, USA
July 04, 2014 11:45 AM
Same reason China build the Great Wall, to protect itself from insurgency. Not all terrorist have rockets most of them have guns and knifes.
In Response

by: godmanneo from: usa
July 04, 2014 11:31 AM
The walls are being built so that scripture can be fullfilled. Read about the walls comming down in revelation
In Response

by: Fred from: USA
July 04, 2014 10:49 AM
Yes, a 'palestinian' SUICIDE BOMBER. They used to walk right into cafes, malls, buses, weddings, but not after the walls were built.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs