Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Palestine teen murder sparks riots as tensions soar

03 July 2014, 08:28

Jerusalem - Violence flared in Jerusalem as angry Palestinian youths clashed with Israeli police following the kidnap and murder of a Palestinian teen in an apparent revenge attack, prompting international calls for calm.

Hundreds of masked Palestinians on Wednesday hurled stones at Israeli riot police, who responded by firing rubber bullets, tear gas and sound bombs. Clashes continued into the night.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the "despicable" killing of the 16-year-old Palestinian boy, whose death came after three Israeli teenagers were killed in the West Bank.

Netanyahu urged both sides "not to take the law into their own hands".

And the family of one of the slain Israeli teens, still in mourning, said any revenge murder was a "horrendous act".

The clashes in the slain teen's Shuafat neighbourhood have left at least 65 people wounded, three by live bullets, while some 35 people were injured by rubber bullets, including six journalists, according to the Red Crescent.

Palestinians held Israel responsible, demanding Netanyahu's government act to prevent revenge attacks.

"I demand the Israeli government punish the killers if it wants peace between the Palestinian and the Israeli peoples," said Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.

Eyewitnesses told AFP the Palestinian youth, Mohammed Abu Khder, was seen being forced into a car by three Israelis in occupied east Jerusalem.

Police confirmed a body had been found in a forest in Givat Shaul in west Jerusalem, although they refused to link the two incidents.

But DNA tests proved the body was that of the missing teenager, his father said.

"The body belongs to my son," Hussein Abu Khder told AFP, adding that the cause of death was not immediately clear.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon called for justice over the "despicable act", and the International Committee of the Red Cross appealed for the violence to stop.

"At this critical time, the ICRC calls on all sides to stand unequivocally against the abduction and murder of civilians," said Red Cross president Peter Maurer. "The current spiral of violence, loss and suffering must stop now."

'Pay the price'

Tensions have soared across the region since 12 June when the three Israeli teenage boys disappeared while hitchhiking in the West Bank. Their bodies were found on Monday, with Israel blaming Hamas and vowing to hit it hard.

Calls for revenge followed, with more than 200 Israelis rampaging through Jerusalem after the teens were laid to rest on Tuesday, dragging people out of cars and chanting "Death to Arabs".

Still, Israel's Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch stressed that "the motive for the [Palestinian] murder cannot be determined for now."

"All leads are being pursued," he said.

But Hamas held Israel's government directly responsible for Wednesday's death with the warning: "You will pay the price for your crimes".

During the night Israel launched some dozen air strikes on northern Gaza and Gaza City, wounding nine Palestinians, one seriously, according to Palestinian medical and security sources.

Meanwhile, 10 projectiles, including two rockets intercepted by Israeli missile defence systems, were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip during the evening, bringing the total over the past 24 hours to 18, the Israeli army said.

And one rocket hit a home in Sderot, causing damage to the neighbouring road and a power outage in the city in southern Israel, an army statement said.

Netanyahu convened his security cabinet on Wednesday night to discuss punitive measures, but commentators said the murder of the Palestinian boy would seriously limit the margin for manoeuvre.

'Murder is murder'

As the clashes raged in the Shuafat neighbourhood, where the streets were littered with burning dumpsters and makeshift barricades, the only place of relative calm was the murdered boy's family home.

His mother Suha Abu Khder sat in stunned silence, sometimes breaking down in tears in a room filled with loved ones.

A cousin of the teenager, Ansam Abu Khder, said witnesses had written down the car's licence plate number and police were examining CCTV footage.

"We knew about Mohammed's kidnapping by three Israelis just before the dawn prayers. A witness saw them," he told AFP.

The family of 16-year-old Naftali Frenkel, one of the three murdered Israeli teenagers, condemned the Palestinian teen's death as a "horrendous act".

"There is no difference between Arab blood and Jewish blood. Murder is murder. There is no forgiveness or justification for any murder," they said in a statement.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...