The Jewish suspects, who are accused of killing 16-year-old Palestinian Mohammed Abu Khdeir, have confessed to Israeli police that they burned him alive. One of them is 29 and the other two are 17.
The suspects said that they had soaked the teenager with petrol before burning him alive. Forensic analysis supported the claim by indicating that Khdeir was alive when he was put to fire. The suspects re-enacted how they had killed the young boy to police. According to police, the kidnapping and the subsequent murder of the Palestinian boy were an act of revenge. Khdeir was abducted on July 2 when he was sitting outside a mosque in East Jerusalem.
Naftali Fraenkel (16), Gilad Shaer (16) and Eyal Yifrah (19) went missing on June 12. The Israel Defense Forces arrested nearly 350 Palestinians for the next 11 days but did not manage to know the whereabouts of the missing boys. Israel blamed Hamas for kidnapping the boys but the Palestinian president and the organisation denied it. The missing Israeli boys were found dead on June 30. Within a couple of days, Khdeir was kidnapped. His lifeless body was found in a jungle.
Khdeir's mother Suha, on the other hand, did not believe merely arresting the offenders would be enough. She apparently called for retaliation as she said that the Israeli murderers should be treated like how Palestinians were treated by Israel. "They need to demolish their homes and round them up, the way they do it to our children," she said.
U.S. authorities started an investigation after Tariq Abu Khdeir, a Palestinian-American, had suffered swelling and bruises on his face. The Florida resident, the cousin of the murdered teenager, was allegedly beaten by Israeli police during a protest held in East Jerusalem. The beating was captured on video.
Palestinian lawyer and political activist Raja Shehadeh hoped that Khdeir's murder would not go in vain. According to Shehadeh, it should awaken people to realise how futile the fights had been. "A time will come when all these simple truths will become evident to the majority on both sides. Perhaps the time is now," he wrote.
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