The UN Security Council on Wednesday night condemned the killing of an Arab teen found in a Jerusalem forest earlier Wednesday. "The members of the Security Council expressed profound sorrow and condemned in the strongest terms the abduction and killing of a Palestinian teenager from East Jerusalem on July 2," the 15-nation council said,adding that it “extended their condolences and sympathies to the family of the victim of this heinous act and to the Palestinian people.”
It was only on Tuesday that the UN Security Council issued a condemnation of the murders of Israeli teens Eyal Yifrah (19), Naftali Frenkel (16), and Gilad Sha'ar (16), 18 days after they were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists. The Council called the kidnapping and murder of the boys “a heinous act,” and stressed the importance of “encouraging Israel and the Palestinian Authority to continue working together to... bring the perpetrators of these acts to justice.”
Israeli police are investigating the death of the Arab, and hope to track down those responsible soon, a spokesperson said. Police said that they were checking all possibilities. On Wednesday night, a police source told Channel Ten that the initial investigation seems to suggest that the Arab teen may have been abducted by Jews. However, speaking to Arutz Sheva Wednesday, A senior former police official, citing sources close to the investigation, said that the murder was most likely a criminal act, rejecting the claim that Jewish "revenge" for the murdered Israeli teens lay behind it.
The official noted that the family of the murdered 16-year-old was well known to police sources in Jerusalem, adding "it's a problematic family with internal clashes that have been ongoing for many years. I have no doubt that as time passes it will be clarified that the murder was criminal and nothing more," declared the official, who spoke to Arutz Sheva on condition of anonymity.
Earlier Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also condemned the murder. “The secretary-general condemns the murder of a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem and calls for the perpetrators of this despicable act to be promptly brought to justice,” a spokesperson for Ban said.
The murder set off wide-scale rioting by Arabs on Wednesday in Jerusalem. Arab rioting in the Shuafat neighborhood spread to the Temple Mount, where masked Arab rioters threw rocks on police. This led to the decision to close the Mount to visitors. The entrance into Jerusalem from Highway 443 at the Ben Tzion Interchange was also closed off. Three Light Rail stations were destroyed by rioters. Arab pogromists were also reportedly targeting Jewish homes and cars in Pisgat Ze'ev. Later, it was reported that Arab rioters hurled three pipe bombs at police forces.
In addition, at least three major forest fires broke out in and near Jerusalem Wednesday, with dozens of firefighting crews working to douse them. A police spokesperson Thursday morning said that police had “solid evidence” that at least one of the fires, which burned in the area of Lifta west of Jerusalem, had been set by Arab arsonists.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke on Wednesday night with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu regarding the killing of the Arab teenager. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that during the telephone conversation between the two, Netanyahu told Kerry that he had "asked for an investigation to find out who was responsible for the despicable murder as soon as possible, that anyone who takes a life will be punished severely." The European Union also condemned the incident, saying it was "extremely concerned" about the potential for more violence.