JERUSALEM (JTA) – Three Israeli suspects in the suspected revenge kidnapping and murder of a Palestinian teen were indicted in Jerusalem District Court.
The indictment filed on Thursday in the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, 16, of Shuafat in eastern Jerusalem, charged the still unnamed suspects with murder and kidnapping as well as other crimes.
The names of the suspects remain under a court-ordered gag order. They are identified as a 29-year-old man from the Adam settlement outside of Jerusalem, and two 16-year-olds, one from Beit Shemesh and one from Jerusalem.
Khdeir was kidnapped from outside a mosque in his neighborhood early on the morning of July 2, hours after the funerals for three Israeli teens who were kidnapped and murdered, allegedly by Hamas members, two-and-a-half weeks earlier. Khdeir’s badly burned body was found hours later in the Jerusalem Forest. According to the indictment, Khdeir was beaten unconscious and then set on fire while still alive.
The three suspects, who reportedly re-enacted the crime, have confessed to the crime and said it was in revenge for the kidnapping and murder of Gilad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel, and Eyal Yifrach. Khdeir’s murder touched off rioting in Arab areas throughout the country.
“The indictment that was filed details a grave and shocking act, perpetrated against a background of racism, against an innocent teenager,” Israel’s Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein reportedly said in a Justice Ministry statement.”The attorney general wishes to express his deep sorrow over this cruel act that counters all basic human morals.”