Palestinians, Israeli-Arabs riot throughout weekend

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinians in eastern Jerusalem and Israeli-Arabs throughout the Galilee rioted over the weekend, following the burial of a Palestinian teen found burned to death in the Jerusalem forest.

Muhammed Abu Khieder was buried on Friday afternoon following Ramadan prayers. Violence and rioting continued on Saturday and into Sunday morning at several sites in Jerusalem as well as in several towns in the Wadi Ara region of northern Israel, home to a large Arab Israeli population.

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“Over the weekend we took determined action against disturbances in Jerusalem and in Arab communities. We are taking a tough line against anyone who breaks the law and against inciters from whatever side. There is no place in the State of Israel for stone-throwing at police, throwing firebombs, blocking roads or destroying property, or incitement against the very existence of the State of Israel,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday morning at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting.

“This rope cannot be held from both ends. One cannot benefit from National Insurance payments and child allowances on the one hand and, on the other, violate the most basic laws of the State of Israel. I call on the leaders of the Arab public to show responsibility and come out against the wave of disturbances in order to restore quiet. Whoever does not abide by the law – will be arrested and punished severely,” Netanyahu said.

Palestinian Authority Attorney General Mohammed Al-A’wewy told the official Palestinian Wafa news agency that Khieder was burned alive in the early morning attack on July 2, hours after the burial of three kidnapped Israeli teens whose bodies were found in a shallow grave in a field near Hebron.

Khieder was abducted from his eastern Jerusalem neighborhood and later murdered in what police suspect may have been a reprisal by Jewish extremists for the June 12 abduction and murders of three Israeli youths from a junction in Gush Etzion in the West Bank. Others suggest that his death was an honor killing. Police have not yet been able to definitively identify who were the killers.