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Middle East

Murdered Palestinian teen was 'burned alive'

© Afp

Video by Nicholas RUSHWORTH

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-07-06

A Palestinian teenager who is thought to have been abducted and murdered in retaliation for the deaths of three Israeli teens was burned alive, initial autopsy reports said Saturday.

Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, was abducted from his Shuafat neighbourhood in East Jerusalem early on Wednesday. His charred body was found not long after in a West Jerusalem forest.

Palestinian news agency Maan quoted Attorney General Mohammed Aluweiwi as saying Saturday that the initial findings of a post-mortem examination indicated the presence of smoke in the boy's lungs, meaning he was still alive while he was being burned.

Abu Khdeir also suffered a head wound, but that did not cause his death, Aluweiwi said.

The teenager's funeral was joined by thousands of mourners on Friday, with clashes erupting across Israeli-held Arab East Jerusalem for a third straight day since the discovery of his body.

Many Palestinians believe he was killed by Jewish extremists in retaliation for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank last month.

Israeli police said Saturday they still could not confirm the motive for Abu Khdeir's murder. A spokeswoman told AFP that police were investigating "all possibilities" and that there was a gag order on the details of the investigation.

The clashes spread to the Arab towns of Taibe in northeastern Israel and Jaljulia and Qalanswah in the centre, where a car was torched after its Jewish owner was pulled out of it, police said.

More than a dozen Arab Israelis were arrested in the unrest. Police said they remained on high alert Saturday.

Militants have continued to launch rocket and mortar fire at Israel from Gaza amid Egyptian efforts to broker a renewed truce between Israel and its Islamist foe Hamas following a flare-up of cross-border violence.

Ten rockets and mortar rounds were fired at southern Israel, the army said, with one soldier lightly wounded by mortar fire.

There has been a surge in militant rocket fire and retaliatory Israeli air raids since the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teens prompted a huge Israeli crackdown on Hamas in the occupied West Bank.

Murdered teen's cousin arrested

One of those arrested in the East Jerusalem clashes was Tariq Abu Khdeir, the 15-year-old cousin of the murdered Palestinian youth and a US citizen on vacation in East Jerusalem.

Speaking to AFP Saturday, his parents said Tariq was arrested in Shuafat after being beaten by police on Thursday.

A video circulated on social media shows what appears to be Israeli border police beating and kicking a handcuffed semi-conscious figure before dragging him away.

The parents, who saw their son in an Israeli hospital, said they were told Tariq was arrested for being masked.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri could not confirm it was Tariq in the video, but said the footage was from the arrest of a group of six Palestinians, of which Tariq was part.

Samri said police found a sling on Tariq, who attacked police and resisted arrest, while others were stoning the police force and throwing Molotov cocktails.

Samri said six police were wounded during that arrest operation.

Abu Khdeir will appear before a Jerusalem court Sunday, his parents said.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)


Date created : 2014-07-05


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