Palestinians clash with Israeli troops amid claims teenager was murdered by Jewish right-wing extremists in 'revenge killing'
A body was found hours after a Palestinian teenager was reported missing
Heather Saul is a digital reporter for The Independent, currently working on the People desk. She has written news and features across a number of topics, paying particular attention to the activities of Isis and events in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Wednesday 02 July 2014
Protesters in Jerusalem have clashed with police after the body of a Palestinian teenager kidnapped just hours before in East Jerusalem was found.
Palestinian residents reported seeing a teenager Mohammed Abu Khdair, 17, as he was forced into a vehicle outside a supermarket in the Shuafat section of Jerusalem on Wednesday in the eastern part of the city.
A body was later found in the Jerusalem Forest, hours after the abduction. Israel's Ynet web site said the body was that of an Arab, that it was charred and showed signs of violence.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Jewish settlers of killing Abu Khudair and demanded that Israel "mete out the strongest punishment against the murderers if it truly wants peace".
Hundreds of Palestinians hurled stones at police who responded with tear gas following reports that a body had been discovered.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a statement, urged police to "to swiftly investigate who was behind the loathsome murder and its motive". He called on all sides "not to take the law into their own hands".
A senior official of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement said the missing teenager's family had identified the corpse as their son. The family was not immediately available for comment.
Video: Israeli forces clash with Palestinian protesters
An anonymous security source told the Reuters news agency officials suspect the youth had been kidnapped and killed in Jerusalem in a possible revenge attack after the bodies of three Israeli teenagers who had been abducted were discovered.
Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesman for Israeli police, said authorities had been notified of a youth "pulled into a vehicle and possibly kidnapped" and roadblocks were set up in search of suspects.
Later "police discovered a body in the Jerusalem forest and were looking to see if there was a connection between the missing youth and the body that was found," Mr Rosenfeld said. Police are now investigating if it is the same person.
The discovery sparked clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians outside of the boy's home.
The incident occurred the day after Israel buried three teenagers who had been kidnapped near a Jewish settlement on 12 June and whose bodies were found under rocks in the West Bank on Monday.
READ MORE: BODIES OF THREE TEENS FOUND BY ARMY IN WEST BANK
NETANYAHU ACCUSES HAMAS OF KIDNAPPING ISRAEL'S THREE MISSING BOYS
ISRAEL SEARCHES FOR TEENS FEARED SEIZED BY PALESTINIAN MILITANTS
The deaths saw Mr Netanyahu vow "Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay" during one of two cabinet meetings to discuss a response to the killings of Naftali Frankel, 16, Gilad Shaer, 16 and Eyal Yifrach, 19.
Overnight, dozens of Israelis took to the streets in protest at their deaths, with many calling for revenge. Police arrested at least 47 demonstrators chanting anti-Arab slogans, the Times of Israel reports.
Thousands appeared for the funerals of the teenagers on Tuesday in Modein. Earlier, local Israeli media released the audio of an emergency call made by one the teenagers just after he was abducted.
In it, a boy, believed to be Gilad, can be heard saying “I was kidnapped” before another voice shouts “head down!”.
Mr Netanyahu said the teenagers "were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by human animals", but Hamas warned Israel against waging war on the Gaza strip in retaliation, threatening that "the gates of hell will open" should action be taken.
"Hamas continues to support, even at this time, the kidnappings of our citizens and is directly responsible for firing rockets and mortars at our territory, including in recent hours," Mr Netanyahu said in a statement aired on national TV. "If there is a need, we will broaden the campaign as much as needed."
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