Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Focused Hunt for a Victim to Avenge Israelis’ Deaths

By ISABEL KERSHNER, NYT, JULY 14, 2014

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, youths about 17. They were looking for a victim, preferably someone lightweight, who could easily be pushed into the car.

Though some of the details remain uncertain, at 3:48 a.m. on 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 who was alone: Muhammad Abu Khdeir, 16, who was waiting for his friends near the mosque on the main road of the well-to-do neighborhood of Shuafat, a few yards from his home.

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

Hours before Muhammad’s killing, Israel had buried the three 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 near Hebron after an 18-day search.

(More here.)

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