Daily Israel Report

Six 'Jewish Extremists' Arrested over Murder of Arab Teen

Arrests come as police sources say murder of Mohammed Abu-Khder almost certainly 'nationalistic' in nature.
By Arutz Sheva Staff
First Publish: 7/6/2014, 12:48 PM / Last Update: 7/6/2014, 2:22 PM

Mourners carry the coffin of Mohammed Abu-Kder in Jerusalem
Mourners carry the coffin of Mohammed Abu-Kder in Jerusalem
Reuters

Police have arrested six suspects in the murder of 16-year-old Arab teen Mohammed Abu-Khder.

The suspects, among them several minors, are believed to be Jewish, appearing to back suggestions earlier today that police had made significant headway in their investigation, and that they were almost certain the motive was "nationalistic".

"Apparently the people arrested in relation to the case belong to an extremist Jewish group," an official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"We have begun to put together the pieces of the puzzle, and 70-80% of the background information indicates [the crime is] nationalistic," a police source claiming to be part of the central investigation told Walla News.

"But research has failed to understand what happened during critical moments," he added, referring to the two-hour window between the boy's alleged abduction in Shuafat and his body being found in the Jerusalem Forest. 

Almost immediately prior to the arrests, a police source told Channel 2 that arrests in the case were "imminent" and could be carried out later in the day. 

Rioting throughout Jerusalem erupted last week after rumors circulated that 16-year-old Mohammed Abu-Khder's murder was an act of Jewish "revenge" over the abduction and murder of three Israeli teens Naftali Frenkel (16), Gilad Sha'ar (16) and Eyal Yifrah (19). 

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, as well as some in the international media, have since repeated those claims as fact. Israeli leaders - including the mayor of Jerusalem and Prime Minister Netanyahu - rushed to condemn the murder, despite the lack of clear evidence suggesting that the murder was an act of nationalistic revenge. 

Conflicting testimonies from the boy's own parents about an alleged attempt to abduct their younger son some time before have raised further questions about the possibility of criminal or some other motive.

Meanwhile more footage has emerged from CCTV cameras near the scene of the crime, purporting to show the murder suspects approaching Mohammed before kidnapping him.

Previous footage, taken from across the street, was obtained late last week by The Telegraph; but while those images were far harder to make out, the latest film is somewhat clearer - though not clear enough to make out the killers' identities.

Watch - previously-released footage from the murder scene: