Suspects confess to killing Palestinian teen

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...

13 PHOTOS
Palestinian teen
See Gallery
Suspects confess to killing Palestinian teen
Israeli security block the entrance to the Petah Tikva Justice court where suspects in the brutal murder of a Palestinian teenager who was burned to death in a suspected revenge killing. are held for a hearing, on July 6, 2014 in the central city of Petah Tikva. Israeli police have arrested a group of Jewish extremists in connection with the kidnap and murder of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli security block the entrance to the Petah Tikva Justice court where suspects in the brutal murder of a Palestinian teenager who was burned to death in a suspected revenge killing. are held for a hearing, on July 6, 2014 in the central city of Petah Tikva. Israeli police have arrested a group of Jewish extremists in connection with the kidnap and murder of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - JULY 6: 15-year-old, U.S. citizen Tariq Abu Khdeir released in Jerusalem, Israel on 6 July, 2014. Tariq Abu Khdeir is the cousin of Mohammed Abu Khdeir who burned by Israeli extremists. Tariq Abu Khdeir was taken into custody during the protests after his cousin's funeral. He was beaten by Israeli police and suffered a broken nose, chin and injuries to his eyes. (Photo by Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - JULY 6: 15-year-old, U.S. citizen Tariq Abu Khdeir released in Jerusalem, Israel on 6 July, 2014. Tariq Abu Khdeir is the cousin of Mohammed Abu Khdeir who burned by Israeli extremists. Tariq Abu Khdeir was taken into custody during the protests after his cousin's funeral. He was beaten by Israeli police and suffered a broken nose, chin and injuries to his eyes. (Photo by Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - JULY 6: 15-year-old, U.S. citizen Tariq Abu Khdeir and his mother Suha Abu Khdeir are seen on the photo after he released in Jerusalem, Israel on 6 July, 2014. Tariq Abu Khdeir is the cousin of Mohammed Abu Khdeir who burned by Israeli extremists. Tariq Abu Khdeir was taken into custody during the protests after his cousin's funeral. He was beaten by Israeli police and suffered a broken nose, chin and injuries to his eyes. (Photo by Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - JULY 6: 15-year-old, U.S. citizen Tariq Abu Khdeir (C) released in Jerusalem, Israel on 6 July, 2014. Tariq Abu Khdeir is the cousin of Mohammed Abu Khdeir who burned by Israeli extremists. Tariq Abu Khdeir was taken into custody during the protests after his cousin's funeral. He was beaten by Israeli police and suffered a broken nose, chin and injuries to his eyes. (Photo by Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
An Israeli prison service vehicle leaves the court house in Petah Tikva, Israel, Sunday, July 6, 2014. Israeli authorities on Sunday announced the arrests of several Jewish suspects in the death of Muhammed Abu Khdeir, 16, a Palestinian teenager who was abducted and killed last week, marking a major breakthrough in a case that has sparked violent protests in Arab areas of Jerusalem and northern Israel. In a joint statement, Israeli police and the Shin Bet security agency said the suspects were arrested early Sunday. They remained in custody and were being interrogated by the Shin Bet. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
The mother of 15-year-old Tariq Abu Khdeir, a U.S. citizen who goes to school in Tampa, Florida, shows an undated photo of him on a digital photo album at their home in Jerusalem, Saturday, July 5, 2014. Tariq was beaten and arrested by the Israeli police Friday during clashes sparked by the killing of his cousin Mohammed Abu Khdeir on Thursday. Israeli police spokeswoman, said that Tariq had resisted arrest and attacked police officers. Tariq’s father said he witnessed his son’s arrest and insisted the boy was not involved in the violence. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
Suha Abu Khdeir, mother of 15-year-old Tariq Abu Khdeir, a U.S. citizen who goes to school in Tampa, Florida, shows a mobile phone photo of Tariq taken in a hospital after he was beaten and arrested by the Israeli police during clashes sparked by the killing Thursday of his cousin Mohammed Abu Khdeir, in Jerusalem, Saturday, July 5, 2014. Israeli police spokeswoman, said that Tariq Abu Khdeir had resisted arrest and attacked police officers. Tariq’s father said he witnessed his son’s arrest and insisted the boy was not involved in the violence. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
An Israeli border policeman aims his weapon during clashes with Palestinians in Jerusalem, Thursday, July 3, 2014. The violence erupted Wednesday after a 16-year-old Palestinian Mohammed Abu Khdeir was abducted and a charred body, believed to be the boy, was found in a Jerusalem forest. The family has blamed extremist Jews for killing him in revenge for the deaths of the three Israeli teens, whose bodies were found in a field in the West Bank on Monday after a more than two-week search. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
White House press secretary Josh Earnest speaks during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, July 2, 2014, in Washington. Earnest spoke about the death of 17-year-old Palestinian Mohammed Abu Khdeir, and answered questions on topics including about the influx of unaccompanied minors at the border. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
In this image made from video by The Associated Press, Salah Abu Khdeir, center, father of Tariq Abu Khdeir, a 15-year-old U.S. citizen who goes to school in Florida, speaks during an interview with the AP, while his wife Suha and a girl sit next to him in the Shuafat neighborhood of Jerusalem on Saturday, July 5, 2014. Tariq is a cousin of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who Palestinians say was killed by Israeli extremists in a revenge attack for the deaths of three Israeli teens. Tariq's father said he witnessed his son's arrest and insisted the boy was not involved in the violence. Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri said that Tariq had resisted arrest and attacked police officers. He was detained with a slingshot in his possession used to hurl stones at police, along with six other protesters, including some armed with knives, she said, adding that several officers were hurt in that specific protest, one of many that day. (AP Photo)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


By Ian Deitch

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Three Israeli suspects in the vigilante-style killing of a Palestinian teenager who was abducted and burned to death last week confessed to the crime on Monday and were re-enacting the incident for authorities, an official said, as the country's leaders raced to contain a public uproar over the slaying.

The confessions came as tensions continued to rise along Israel's volatile front with the Gaza Strip. Israeli airstrikes, launched in response to persistent rocket fire, killed at least eight Palestinian militants. The Hamas militant group vowed revenge, saying "the enemy will pay a tremendous price."

The region has been on edge for weeks since three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and killed in the West Bank. Last week, hours after the Israeli teens were buried, 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir was abducted from outside his home in east Jerusalem, and his charred remains were found shortly afterwards in a Jerusalem forest. His death triggered days of violent protests in Arab areas of Jerusalem and northern Israel.

The Jewish suspects have not been identified, and they remained in custody Monday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation.

Palestinians say that Abu Khdeir's death was a revenge killing in response to the abductions and killings of the three Israeli teens. Abu Khdeir was abducted near his home in east Jerusalem shortly after the three were buried, and his charred remains were later found in a Jerusalem forest.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned Abu Khdeir's death and tried to calm the public. On Monday, his office said he called Abu Khdeir's father, Hussein, to express his condolences.

"I would like to express my outrage and that of the citizens of Israel over the reprehensible murder of your son," a statement quoted Netanyahu as saying.

"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," he said.

Hussein Abu Khdeir, father of the slain boy, said he was not certain he spoke to Netanyahu.

"Maybe he called, I don't know," he said. "Tons of people called me this morning to apologize for what happened to my son. Some of them were crying. But I don't know if Netanyahu was one of them," he said.

The discovery Sunday that a group of Jewish males, some of them minors, were suspected in the grisly death of Abu Khdeir, who was still alive when he was set on fire, set off nationwide anguish in Israel and raised questions about whether the charged atmosphere in the country had contributed to the killing.

"Shame. That is the word," wrote Sima Kadmon, a commentator in the mass daily Yediot Ahronot. "For the murder of Mohammed, there is shame. Immense shame and disgrace over the fact that such a thing happened among us, we who are so certain that it could not happen among us, that only Arabs can be so cruel."

Israel's president, Nobel peace laureate Shimon Peres, and the man who is to succeed him later this month, Reuven Rivlin, co-authored a front-page article in the same newspaper.

"In the state of Israel, there is no difference between blood and blood," the two men wrote. "The choice is in our hands: To give in to the destructive worldview posed to us by the racists and the extremists, or to fight it unconditionally; to give in to wild and vicious Muslim or Jewish terrorists - or to put an end to it by all means possible."

In recent weeks, Palestinian militants in Gaza have fired more than 200 rockets and mortars toward Israel, drawing dozens of Israeli airstrikes in retaliation. Nearly 30 rockets were launched Monday, including one that reached Beersheba, a major city about 50 kilometers (30 miles) away from Gaza on Monday morning.

It exploded in open field causing no injuries, the army said. It was the first time a Gaza rocket exploded in the city since a round of heavy fighting in 2012. In a separate rocket attack, an Israeli soldier was lightly wounded by shrapnel.

Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, said six of its men were killed in Israeli airstrikes overnight, while two other militants were killed separately.

It was the deadliest day of fighting in the current round of hostilities, and Hamas vowed revenge.

Israel said it carried out airstrikes on at least "14 terror sites" including "concealed rocket launchers" in Gaza overnight in retaliation to a recent spike in attacks from Gaza.

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a military spokesman, said the rocket attacks are "unbearable and unacceptable."

"We will continue to act in order to debilitate and incapacitate the Hamas terror infrastructure, striking its warehouses, rocket manufacturing capabilities and those that endanger the well-being of the Israelis in the south of the country," he said.

Meanwhile, Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, dissolved a political alliance with Netanyahu, in large part because of their differences over Gaza.

Netanyahu has advocated a measured response to the rocket fire, while Lieberman has called for much tougher action. Israeli Cabinet ministers were meeting Monday to discuss the situation.

---

Yousur Alhlou contributed to this report.

Read Full Story

People are Reading