Revenge suspected in killing Palestinian teen

Updated: 2014-07-03 07:42

By Agence France-Presse in Jerusalem (China Daily)

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Revenge suspected in killing Palestinian teen

A Palestinian uses a sling to hurl a stone toward Israeli police during clashes in Shuafat, an Arab suburb of Jerusalem on Wednesday. Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces in Jerusalem after the discovery of a body raised suspicions a Palestinian youth had been killed by Israelis avenging the deaths of three abducted Jewish teens. Baz Ratner / Reuters

A Palestinian teenager was kidnapped and killed on Wednesday in an apparent act of revenge for the murder of three Israeli youths, triggering clashes in east Jerusalem.

Israel's army radio said the teenager was snatched while hitchhiking in east Jerusalem and his body dumped in a forest in the western part of the city, in what was described as a "suspected revenge attack".

As the news spread, crowds of angry Palestinians gathered outside the teenager's home and began throwing stones at police, who responded with sound bombs and rubber bullets.

Two journalists were slightly injured by rubber bullets.

Palestinian media outlets identified the boy as 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khder from Shuafat.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat denounced the murder and called for calm.

"This is a horrible and barbaric act, which I strongly condemn. This is not our way and I am fully confident that our security forces will bring the perpetrators to justice," he said.

"I call on everyone to exercise restraint."

Suspicious black car

Tensions have soared across the region since June 12, when three Israeli teenagers disappeared while hitchhiking in the West Bank. Their bodies were found on Monday, with Israel blaming Hamas for the triple killings. Hamas denies any involvement in or knowledge of the kidnappings.

Early on Wednesday, police received a call about a suspected kidnapping from Beit Hanina, a well-heeled Arab neighborhood of east Jerusalem, prompting a widespread search operation, said spokeswoman Luba Samri.

"On Wednesday morning, police received a report of a person being forced into a car in Beit Hanina," she said.

"Within an hour, a body was found in Jerusalem that has still not been identified. We are looking to see if there is a connection between the two incidents."

Quoting witnesses, army radio said the youth was seen being forced into a black Honda Civic that had been seen in the area the night before.

A cousin of the missing youth, who gave his name only as Mahmoud, said locals had given chase but were unable to catch the fleeing car.

Residents had filed a police complaint in recent days that someone in the same car had tried unsuccessfully to snatch a 7-year-old child.

Shortly after the kidnapping was reported, a body was found in a forest near Givat Shaul in west Jerusalem, the radio said, indicating the body had been burned. It had earlier said there were signs of stab wounds.

Outside the home of the missing Palestinian teenager in Shuafat, more than 200 angry youths began throwing stones and blocked the light rail from passing through a nearby settlement neighborhood, police said.