JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the father of the Palestinian teen allegedly murdered by Jews in a revenge attack.
Three of the six suspects arrested in the July 2 kidnapping and murder of 16-year-old Mohammad Khdeir of eastern Jerusalem to avenge the slaying of three Israeli teens have confessed to the crime and reenacted burning and dumping the body in the Jerusalem forest, Israeli media reported Monday.
“I would like to express my outrage and that of the citizens of Israel over the reprehensible murder of your son,” Netanyahu said in the Monday morning phone call to Hussein Abu Khdeir, the father of Mohammad, according to a statement from his office. “We acted immediately to apprehend the murderers. We will bring them to trial and they will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.
“We denounce all brutal behavior; the murder of your son is abhorrent and cannot be countenanced by any human being.”
The suspects, reportedly from Jerusalem and the surrounding area, have not been allowed to see their lawyers because they are being charged under the law for suspected terrorists, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni explained in an interview with Army Radio. The suspects will remain in police custody for eight days, according to reports.
There is a judicial gag order on the case.
Police reportedly have connected the Khdeir case to the attempted kidnapping of a 9-year-old boy by Jewish extremists in the same Shuafat neighborhood a day earlier. No one in the boy’s family filed a report with police and the case was not followed up.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, Yishai Fraenkel, the uncle of Naftali Fraenkel, one of the three Israeli teens who was kidnapped and murdered allegedly by Hamas terrorists, spoke by phone with Hussein Abu Khdeir in a conversation in which the men comforted each other.
Palestinians from the Hebron area also paid a condolence visit to the Fraenkel household on the same day.