Israel has arrested six Jewish suspects in the abduction and killing of a Palestinian teenager whose death sparked violent protests in Jerusalem and Israeli Arab towns, a security source said on Sunday.
The burning-alive of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khudair, and the earlier murders of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers, have driven relations between Palestinians and Israelis to their lowest point since US-backed peace talks broke down in April.
The security source gave no details about the suspects arrested in the investigation into the abduction and killing of Abu Khudair, other than to say they were Jewish and that police saw “nationalist motives” in the case.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said a gag order had been imposed on most details of the case, commenting only that police had “arrested a number of Jewish suspects who carried out the killing.” Israel’s Shin Bet security agency said the suspects were being questioned at one of its installations.
Despite the gag order, Israeli media said a court had ordered the suspects remanded into custody for eight days. Israel’s Channel 2 television said the suspects were far-right extremists, among them minors, from the Jerusalem area and a nearby Jewish settlement.
Abu Khudair’s burnt body was discovered in a Jerusalem forest on Wednesday. Palestinians believe he was the victim of far-right Jews avenging the kidnap-killing of the three Israeli teenagers who disappeared while hitchhiking in the occupied West Bank on June 12, and whose bodies were found last Monday.
Cycle of violence continues
Israel jets attack 10 targets in Gaza
Israeli aircraft attacked 10 sites used by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip on Sunday in response to persistent rocket strikes from the enclave, the Israeli military said. Rocket launchers and a weapons manufacturing facility were among the targets of the air strikes, which followed the firing of a rocket, intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome system late on Saturday, at the major southern city of Beersheba.
Beaten cousin freed, under house arrest
An Israeli judge on Sunday released from jail and placed under house arrest a 15-year-old American of Palestinian descent whose apparent beating by Israeli police in East Jerusalem has drawn US concern. Tariq Khdeir from Tampa, Florida, is a cousin of Mohammed Abu Khudeir, 16, whose abduction and killing in Jerusalem on Wednesday sparked violent protests among Palestinians.