Israeli Troops Clash Violently with Palestinians
JERUSALEM — The abduction and suspected revenge killing of an Arab youth sparked intense clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces in East Jerusalem on Wednesday, raising the specter of wider violence two days after three kidnapped Israeli teenagers were found dead in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli police said late Wednesday that they had yet to confirm the circumstances of 16-year-old Mohammad Abu Khieder’s disappearance or the identity of a badly burned body found in a forested area of Jerusalem, but Israeli news media, citing anonymous security officials, said authorities had determined that Khieder was probably killed by Jews in a “nationalistic crime.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for restraint as he convened his security cabinet for the third straight night to discuss a response to the kidnappings and killings. Israel has blamed the slaying of the Israeli teens on the militant Islamist group Hamas, and on Wednesday, Palestinian leaders accused extremist Jewish settlers of killing Khieder.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused settlers of “killing and burning a little boy.” He demanded, in a statement, that Israel “hold the killers accountable.”
As reports of the Palestinian teen’s death spread, street battles broke out between security forces and residents from the youth’s neighborhood in East Jerusalem, which has been annexed by Israel.