Relatives of Muhammad Abu Khdeir detained for throwing stones, Molotov cocktails

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Father and mother of Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir pray at his grave in Shuafat, in occupied East Jerusalem, in July 2015

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Two young Palestinians related to Muhammad Abu Khdeir, a Palestinian teenager who was burned alive by Israeli settlers in 2014, have been indicted by a Jerusalem court over a number of charges in the wake of their cousin’s brutal murder, Israeli police said on Sunday.Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that Nasser Abu Khdeir, 19, and Muhammad Abu Khdeir, 21 — who shares a name with his slain cousin — had been detained on June 26.The two youths have been accused of breaking the law following Abu Khdeir’s death, with al-Samri noting that they stood accused of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli security forces in 2014, and of firing gunshots from a vineyard near one of their homes in 2015 with a weapon they had purchased. It remained unclear why the two Abu Khdeirs were detained two years after their alleged offenses.A 16-year-old from Shufat in occupied East Jerusalem, Muhammad Abu Khdeir was kidnapped and murdered by three Israeli extremists on July 2, 2014.All three confessed to beating the teenager unconscious before pouring flammable liquid on him and setting him alight. An autopsy later confirmed the teen had been burned alive.The grisly murder sparked shock, disgust and an outpouring of condemnation from both Israeli and Palestinian leaders at the time.The brutal revenge killing of Abu Khdeir led to widespread demonstrations and clashes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem which was followed by an uptick in rocket fire from Gaza, and the launch on July 8 of a full-scale Israeli military operation against the Mediterranean enclave, which killed over 2,200 Palestinians, including 500 children.In May this year, an Israeli court sentenced Yosef Ben-David — the ringleader in Abu Khdeir’s murder — to a total of 45 years in prison, also ordering him to pay 150,000 shekels ($39,756) to Abu Khdeir’s family.Two Israeli minors who assisted in killing Muhammad were convicted of murder in February, one receiving a life sentence and the other 21 years in prison. While Ben-David admitted to carrying out the crime, he repeatedly escaped conviction after seeking a last minute psychiatric evaluation.Abu Khdeir’s murder sparked international condemnation and placed pressure on Israel to bring Jewish extremists to justice. Many critics said that such attacks were the result of total impunity for Israelis who attacked Palestinians.In a court hearing in January, Hussein Abu Khdeir, Muhammad’s father said that his family had been completely overturned by the murder.“We are trying to live our lives like before,” he said at the time. “But our lives have turned dark. We are not thinking of our lives or our future. We only think of the heinous crime and why Muhammad was burned.”According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, some 7,000 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of May. Since 2015, Israel has instituted stringent penalties on stone-throwing, in a move which rights groups have said represents a crackdown on Palestinian youths.

(Source / 31.07.2016)

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Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police




The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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