3 Jews Confess to Revenge Killing of Palestinian

Image: haaretz

Three Israeli Jews arrested for the murder of a Palestinian teenager have confessed to abducting him and burning him alive, officials said on Monday, an incident that helped trigger a week of Israeli-Hamas fighting around the Gaza strip.

Easing a court gag order on the case, Israel said the suspects, two of them minors, had told interrogators that in killing Mohammed Abu Khudair they sought revenge for the murder of three Jewish seminary students in the occupied West Bank last month.

The names of the suspects, remanded by an Israeli court pending a formal indictment, were not immediately given.

Tensions escalated around the two incidents. More than 166 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed by Israeli action against Gaza, run by the militant Hamas group. Hundreds of rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel.

The adult suspect facing the gravest allegations might plead mitigation in citing past mental illness.

“I expect soon to get the investigative material, in which I will look for support for the assessment there is a complex problem in the matter of of my client’s criminal culpability,” an attorney for the organization, Honenu, said.

According to Israel’s Shin Bet security agency, in the early hours of July 2, as Muslims marked the end of the daylight Ramadan fast, the three suspects “patrolled Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem for a number of hours, in an attempt to find a victim to abduct, until they spotted Mohammed Abu Khudair”.

Bundling him into their car, they drove to a forest outside the city where the 29-year-old suspect beat him on the head with a tire iron (wheel brace) and, helped by the two 17-year-olds, doused him with fuel and lit it, the Shin Bet said.

Israeli prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had blamed Hamas for the killing of the Jewish youths and launched a crackdown against the Palestinian Islamist group, deplored Abu Khudair’s murder as “loathsome”. He ordered police to find the culprits swiftly and pledged to see them prosecuted to the full.

Written by


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

3 Jews Confess to Revenge Killing of Palestinian

Thank you!

This article has been sent!