Netanyahu speaks with slain Palestinian teen’s father; three suspects confess

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the father of the Palestinian teen murdered by Jews in a revenge attack.

“I would like to express my outrage and that of the citizens of Israel over the reprehensible murder of your son. 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,” Netanyahu said in the Monday morning phone call to Hussein Abu Khdeir, father of Mohammad.


“We denounce all brutal behavior; the murder of your son is abhorrent and cannot be countenanced by any human being,” Netanyahu said, according to a statement from his office.

Israeli media reported Monday that three of the six suspects arrested in the kidnapping and murder of the Palestinian teen from Shuafat in eastern Jerusalem have confessed to the crime and reenacted burning and dumping the body in the Jerusalem forest.

The suspects, reportedly from Jerusalem and the surrounding area, have not been allowed to see their lawyers. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni told Army Radio in an interview that this is because that is the law for suspected terrorists. The suspects will remain in police custody for eight days, according to reports.

Police reportedly have connected the case of Mohammed Abu Khdeir and Jewish extremists to the attempted kidnapping of a nine-year-old boy in the same neighborhood a day earlier. No one in the boy’s family filed a report with police and the case was not followed up.

There currently is a judicial gag order on the case.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Yishai Fraenkel, the uncle of Naftali Fraenkel, one of three Israeli teens who was kidnapped and murdered 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 Sunday.