Israeli youths’ murder called revenge blueprint

Share with others:

Print Email Read Later

JERUSALEM — They cruised around the Arab neigh­bor­hoods of East Jeru­sa­lem for hours in the dark of night, three Is­raeli Jews: a man of 29, who was driv­ing, and two of his rel­a­tives, both about 17. They were look­ing for a vic­tim, pref­er­a­bly some­one light­weight, who could eas­ily be pushed into the car.

Though some de­tails re­main un­cer­tain, at 3:48 a.m. July 2, ac­cord­ing to the Shin Bet, Is­rael’s in­ter­nal se­cu­rity agency, the three rel­a­tives — now mur­der sus­pects who have yet to be iden­ti­fied — came across a slightly built Pal­es­tin­ian teen­ager: Mo­ham­med Abu Kh­deir, 16, who was wait­ing for his friends near the mosque on the main road of the well-to-do neigh­bor­hood of Shua­fat.

After forc­ing the youth into their car, they sped off to a for­est near the west­ern en­trance to Jeru­sa­lem. Mo­ham­med was dragged from the ve­hi­cle, and the adult blud­geoned him on the head with a wrench. The adult then set him on fire with the help of one of his young rel­a­tives. Leav­ing the teen to die, the three fled.

Hours be­fore the teen’s kill­ing, Is­rael had bur­ied three of its teen­agers — Eyal Yi­frach, 19, and friends Gilad Shaar and Naf­tali Fraenkel, both 16 —who had been ab­ducted as they hitched a ride home from their ye­shi­vas in the West Bank and were shot to death soon af­ter. Their bod­ies were found in a field af­ter an 18-day search.

Bent on re­venge for that and other at­tacks against Jews, ac­cord­ing to de­tails of the Shin Bet in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Kh­deir youth’s death re­leased Mon­day, the three sus­pects planned the mur­der.

The ab­duc­tion and mur­der of the Is­raeli teen­agers, the sub­se­quent West Bank clamp­down against Ha­mas and the re­venge kill­ing of the Kh­deir boy fur­ther poi­soned the at­mo­sphere be­tween Is­rae­lis and Pal­es­tin­ians, ig­nit­ing ten­sions that grew into a full-blown con­fron­ta­tion.

The three sus­pects, the Shin Bet said, have since ad­mit­ted ab­duct­ing and kill­ing the Kh­deir boy. The Shin Bet and po­lice said the three had also re-en­acted the at­tack for in­ves­ti­ga­tors. Their iden­ti­ties re­main con­cealed un­der a ju­di­cial or­der. Micky Ros­en­feld, a po­lice spokes­man, said they were ex­pected to be charged Fri­day with kid­nap­ping and pre­med­i­tated mur­der.

israel - Middle East - Jerusalem - Palestinian territories - West Bank - Gaza Strip - Benjamin Netanyahu - Hebron


You have 2 remaining free articles this month

Try unlimited digital access

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here

You’ve reached the limit of free articles this month.

To continue unlimited reading

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here