The Islamic Jihad terrorist group said on Wednesday that “settlers” were a “legitimate target” for “the resistance”, the Ma’an news agency reported.
In a statement, Islamic Jihad held Israeli authorities and the army responsible for what it said were “continuous attacks on Palestinians, their lands and religious sites.”
The statement condemned the “crime” of the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, which the group blamed on Israel and said was “a continuation of a series of crimes by the Israeli army and settlers.”
The burnt body of 16-year-old Abu Khdeir was found in the Jerusalem Forest area on Wednesday morning. While there is speculation that he was murdered by Jews as a possible act of revenge after the kidnapping murder of three Jewish teens, there are also reports that the abduction was carried out by Arabs and that the murder was an "honor killing" or another kind of criminal murder.
Earlier on Wednesday, Hamas vowed that Israel "will pay" for the murder of the Arab teen.
"We send our message to the Zionist entity and its leaders, which hold direct responsibility (for the murder), that our people will not let this crime pass, nor all the killings and destruction by your settlers," the Islamist movement said. "You will pay the price for these crimes."
Earlier Wednesday, senior Palestinian Authority officials were also quick to blame Israel, including Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas's official spokesman.