Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, was kidnapped last week and murdered in what Palestinians claim was a revenge killing for the previous deaths of three Israeli teens. Khdeir’s charred body was found just a short after his abduction in a Jerusalem forest.
Now, with news of six Jewish men being arrested in connection with a crime officials characterized as ‘nationalistic” in nature, the family of the Palestinian teen is speaking out.
“I don’t have any peace in my heart, even if they captured who they say killed my son,” said Suha Abu Khdeir, mother of the murdered Palestinian teen. “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 said.
But his father, Hussein, took a different approach. He also said the family still had not been officially informed of any arrests. “Even if they rounded up all of Israel, they will not bring my son back,” he said.
Palestinians have claimed that Israeli extremists had kidnapped and murdered the boy in response to the grim discovery of the three Israeli teens buried in a shallow grave in the West Bank, who initially disappeared on June 12. Eyal Yifrach, 19; Gilad Shaar, 16 and Naftali Frenkel, 16, were snatched while in the West Bank, and Israeli forces were conducting raids in the West Bank where Hamas operates up until the grim discovery. Frenkel holds duel U.S.-Israeli citizenship.
The abductions outraged the Jewish state as well as their allies in the international community, resulting in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemning the abduction on June 16.
However, Netanyahu said he would hold the Palestinian Authority responsible for any harm that would come to the teenagers, because Abbas has not only failed to reign in the violence but aligned with many elements of the group to stay in power. In fact, back in early June, Abbas formed a unity government that had the backing of Hamas.
Meanwhile, Israeli leadership said they are committed to apprehending whomever is responsible for murdering the young Palestinian teen, and bring them to justice.
“If Jews are becoming killers, they will be put to court like any killer,” President Shimon Peres said Sunday while addressing foreign journalists in the southern town of Sderot. Shimon was meeting with local residents who have been living with an increasing and ongoing barrage of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip since early last week.
“Whoever was killed for us was murdered, for us is a victim.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday at the open of his cabinet meeting that now as an important time to act rationally, not impulsively. “Experience proves that in moments like these, one must act calmly and responsibly, not hysterically and hastily,” Netanyahu said.
On Sunday, Tariq Abu Khdeir, a 15-year-old Palestinian American and cousin to Mohammed Abu Khdeir, suffered injuries during clashes with Israeli police. His parents said he goes to school in Tamp. Florida, and that he was sentenced to nine days of home detention.
But, as Israeli officials are cautious in tone, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he had already sent a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon requesting an “international investigative committee” into the violence, to include Abu Khdeir’s death. Rather than take into account his alliance with a radical Islamic terror group, who even Secretary of State John Kerry said was responsible for the original kidnapping of the three Israeli teens, Abbas instead blamed “criminal settler groups” for the violence and said Israel should outlaw them.
Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat condemned the violence in a recent interview and said an end must come to all extremism. “We have to fight the extremists who try to destabilize our life and we will do that and return the city back to normal life the way it was a few weeks ago as soon as possible,” he said.