Photo Credit: Hadas Parush/FLASH90
Palestinian Arabs clash with Israeli border police in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, following the reports of the body of an Arab teen who was found killed in the Jerusalem forest. July 02, 2014.

The U.S. government responded swiftly to the news of the murder of an Arab teenager, calling the act “despicable and senseless.”

On Tuesday, July 1, the dead body of Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir was found in a heavily wooded area of Jerusalem.

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Abu Khdeir, who has been described as either 16, 17 or 18 years old, had been allegedly pushed into a car at 3:30 in the morning in a neighborhood in Jerusalem. He was reportedly waiting there for friends who had gone off to buy food.

It is now the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, and observant Muslims eat large meals before daybreak as they will be fasting all day until nightfall.

Some media outlets and social media activists immediately blamed Israelis, or even, specifically,”settlers” for the death and described it as a revenge killing in response to the murder of the kidnapped Israeli teenagers Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel, or at least reported that was what was believed to have happened. Mahmoud Abbas, the acting leader of the Palestinian Authority, was quoted as not only blaming Israeli “settlers,” but accused them of “killing and burning a little boy.”

Others more slowly have been reporting that the murder may have been either a rivalry killing by one faction of Arabs against another, or an honor killing for shame the boy allegedly brought on his family. Israeli authorities condemned the murder swiftly and resolutely, and asked all citizens to respect the rule of law and, further, to do everything possible to contribute to bringing the perpetrators of the crime to justice.

Secretary of State John Kerry used engaged, emotional language to describe his response to this murder, saying it was “sickening” that “an innocent 17 year old boy” was “snatched off the streets” and that “his life [was] stolen.”

Kerry noted that “a number of Israeli and Palestinian officials” have condemned the murder. He also pointed out that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “has been emphatic in calling for all sides ‘not to take the law into their own hands.'” The two paragraph statement ended with the standard trope of calling on both Arabs and Israelis to prevent further acts of violence. Kerry urged officials on both sides to protect the innocent and respond to violence “with reasonableness and restraint, not recrimination and retribution.”

The full statement follows:

The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the despicable and senseless abduction and murder of Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir. It is sickening to think of an innocent 17 year old boy snatched off the streets and his life stolen from him and his family. There are no words to convey adequately our condolences to the Palestinian people.

The authorities are investigating this tragedy, a number of Israeli and Palestinian officials have condemned it, and Prime Minister Netanyahu has been emphatic in calling for all sides “not to take the law into their own hands”. Those who undertake acts of vengeance only destabilize an already explosive and emotional situation. We look to both the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to take all necessary steps to prevent acts of violence and bring their perpetrators to justice. The world has too often learned the hard way that violence only leads to more violence and at this tense and dangerous moment, all parties must do everything in their power to protect the innocent and act with reasonableness and restraint, not recrimination and retribution.

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65 COMMENTS

  1. An official has already stated that this guy’s family has a long history of internal problems and run-ins with the police. He has said quite clearly that there’s no reason to assume his death has anything to do with Israel or revenge.

  2. I knew this was bound to happen tit for tat Northern Ireland all over again,those three poor young men would probably not have wanted this retaliation killing a young man and making more people sad and then more and more people young and old Jews and Arabs going to early graves.

  3. I never believed that the US have such double standards. How quick they have been to condemn the terrible murder the the arab boy, but hey, took time to condemn the kidnap and then the murder of the Israeli boys, and Blanky Moon still had the cheek
    To say “alledged kidnapp”. Egg on your face Blanky??????? Big disappointment USA and UN

  4. There are reports the Arab was killed by his parents because he was gay. Nothing to do with Israeli’s or revenge. This seems like a hamas propaganda stunt to harm Israel. Its working. The world had a bit of sympathy for Israel, that is until hamas put this propaganda out.

  5. There are reports the Arab was killed by his parents because he was gay. Nothing to do with Israeli’s or revenge. This seems like a hamas propaganda stunt to harm Israel. Its working. The world had a bit of sympathy for Israel, that is until hamas put this propaganda out.

  6. So you wave your three fingers at us You laugh & dance in the streets showing complete disrespect to the mourning families and now that you have found an Arab murdered Israel is supposed to do something about it or show respect . I will go as far as saying what makes you think that it was not one of your own who kidnapped the Arab person & Murdered Him . Or better yet you would expect the Jewish people of Israel to show you one finger & laugh in your Faces . Your People had their Fun they Kidnapped three of our Boys and murdered them in cold blood & do you turn over those that are guilty of their abduction & murder no you laugh at us waving your three fingers big difference between you & the Jewish state of Israel ,we refuse to allow ourselves to be lowered to your Hatred & your intellectual level ..

  7. Disgraceful action by our President who failed to even acknowledge the kidnapping of our three Jewish boys until their murder was discovered weeks later! Now he and the rest of the World are quick to condemn and blame Israel! I am so ashamed of the attitude of President Obama!

  8. Is everybody sure that he was killed by Israelis? Arabs have no problem murdering one of their own to create a distracting propaganda and attract world’s compassion, as they always do, even when they commit the most heinous crimes, such as murdering unarmed Israeli civilians and kindergarten children with their Kassam rockets. Even if it were so, Israeli security will surely find those responsible and take them to trial, unlike Arabs, but that should not deter Israely army from continuinf with their policy of search and destroy Hamas, to free us all of that scum. Go, go, go, Israel!

  9. Is everybody sure that he was killed by Israelis? Arabs have no problem murdering one of their own to create a distracting propaganda and attract world’s compassion, as they always do, even when they commit the most heinous crimes, such as murdering unarmed Israeli civilians and kindergarten children with their Kassam rockets. Even if it were so, Israeli security will surely find those responsible and take them to trial, unlike Arabs, but that should not deter Israely army from continuinf with their policy of search and destroy Hamas, to free us all of that scum. Go, go, go, Israel!

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