An Israeli official said that three suspects arrested for kidnapping and killing a 16-year-old Palestinian from east Jerusalem have confessed to the crime.* The Palestinian teen, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, appears to have been burned alive in apparent retaliation for the murders of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. Six suspects in Khdeir’s death were arrested over the weekend. From the Wall Street Journal:
Those arrested are ages 16 to 25 and come from ultra-Orthodox religious families, said a spokesman from Honeinu, a legal organization representing the suspects. The group defends Israelis accused of vigilantism.
Family members of the Palestinian teenager said witnesses in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat saw Orthodox Jewish men force him into a car last week.
A 15-year-old cousin of Khdeir’s—an American citizen named Tariq Abu Khdeir who lives with his family in Florida—was badly beaten by Israeli border police during a protest last Thursday in Jerusalem; the case has drawn the attention of the U.S. State Department. From the New York Times:
A police spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, accused the boy of “attacking security officers and rioting,” but his father, Salah Abu Khdeir, told The Associated Press that he had witnessed his son’s arrest and insisted that he was not involved in any violence. “I asked my son, ‘Did you throw rocks?’ He said, ‘No,’” Mr. Abu Khdeir said in an interview with CNN.
The beating was captured on video, and photos of Tariq Abu Khdeir showed extensive facial injuries.
Correction, July 7, 2014: This post originally stated that the suspects who confessed to Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s murder were teenagers. The six individuals arrested for the crime range in age from 16 to 25, but the ages of the suspects who have confessed are not yet known.