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