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Middle East

Israeli police believe Mohammed Abu Khdeir killing was 'nationalistic' as six Jewish suspects arrested

Arrests follow the detention of a Palestinian man in connection with the three murdered Jewish teenagers

Israeli police have arrested six Jewish suspects in connection with the brutal abduction and killing of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, the 16-year-old Palestinian who is thought to have been burned alive by his attackers.

A security source told Reuters that police had made the arrests in connection with the investigation, but the source would not give any further details other than to confirm the suspects were Jewish, and that police saw “nationalist motives” in the case.

Khdeir was abducted from his neighbourhood in East Jerusalem on Wednesday. Hours after he was taken the teenager’s charred body was found dumped in woodland on the edge of the city.

An initial autopsy has shown that the boy had soot in his lungs, which indicates that he was burnt alive.

CCTV footage of what Khdeir’s family have claimed is his abduction has been released, while further footage has been posted online allegedly showing the faces of the two men who attacked him and dragged him into a car.

Hamas has said Israel would "pay the price" for Khdeir's abduction, adding, "our people will not let this crime pass". 

On Sunday Israeli police arrested Palestinian man Hossam Dufesh in connection with the murder of the three Jewish teenagers named as Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftal Frenkel, 16.

The three teens were abducted while hitchhiking in the occupied West Bank on 12 June. Their bodies were not found until nearly three weeks later, buried in a shallow grave in field to the West of Hebron, and covered by rocks.


Israeli leaders have blamed Hamas for the death. Hamas has neither confirmed nor denied any involvement with the murders.

Kdheir’s death, which happened mere days after the three Jewish teenagers’ bodies were found in the occupied West Bank, sparked violent protests in Jerusalem.

Khdeir’s 15-year-old American cousin, Tariq Abu Khdeir, was caught up in the protest and allegedly filmed being repeatedly punched and kicked by Israeli police on amateur video. His parents have also released images of his beaten and bloodied face.

The US government said it has been “profoundly troubled” by the footage, and Tariq Abu Khdeir, a US citizen, has been released on bail pending an investigation, while being confined to house arrest for 10 days.