|Benjamin Netanyahu, Mohammed Abu Khudair, the murdered Palestinian teenager
Jerusalem, July 7 (Reuters): Israel’s Prime Minister phoned the father of a murdered Palestinian teenager today to promise that the attackers would be prosecuted, the government said, as anger over the killing fuelled Arab street protests.
The burnt body of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khudair was discovered in a Jerusalem forest last week. Six Jews have been arrested in what police suspect was a revenge attack for the abduction and killing of three Jewish youths.
“I wish to express my shock and the shock of Israel’s citizens over the despicable murder of your son,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the father, Hussein Abu Khudair, according to the statement.
“The murderers will be brought to trial and prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” the right-wing leader added, according to the statement, a day after Israel announced that six Jewish suspects, whom it did not identify, were in custody.
Hussein Abu Khudair was not immediately available for comment. Other family members, echoing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, have accused far-right Jewish settlers of killing the teenager.
The youngster’s death has triggered street clashes between angry Palestinians and Israeli police in East Jerusalem, violence that has spread to Arab towns and villages across Israel.
Israelis also have been angered by the deaths of the three Jewish teens, who disappeared in the occupied West Bank on June 12. Their bodies were found in the territory last Monday.
Israel says that Hamas militants killed them — an allegation the Islamist group, now locked in daily cross-border fighting with Israel along the Gaza frontier — has neither accepted nor denied.
After the Israeli youngsters’ funerals on Tuesday, crowds in Jerusalem blocked roads and chanted “Death to Arabs”. Several people tried to attack passing Arabs.
Israeli air strikes killed seven Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip on Monday, the group said, in the deadliest attacks in a surge of violence exacerbated by the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli youths and a Palestinian teen.
The Israeli military said its aircraft targeted “terror sites and concealed rocket launchers across the Gaza Strip”, after about 25 projectiles were fired into Israel on Sunday.