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Netanyahu Tells PA: Find Teens' Murderers, Like We Found Khder's

Israel does not distinguish between Arab and Jewish terror, says PM; vows Arab youth's murderers will be punished severely.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/6/2014, 7:03 PM

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the Palestinian Authority (PA) must locate the terrorists who abducted and murdered three Jewish teens on June 12, just as Israel located and arrested the suspected murderers of Arab teen Mohammed Khder of Shuafat in just a few days.

Netanyahu was visiting the Frenkel family in Nof Ayalon. Their son, Naftali, 16, was murdered by Hamas terrorists along with Eyal Yifrah, 19, and Gilad Sha'ar, 16, by Hamas terrorists who are on the run.

"I am visiting today with my family, the families of Gilad, Naftali and Eyal, who were murdered by Hamas terrorists. I promised their dear families that we will continue to stand by them, even after the days of mourning," he said, with his wife Sarah standing at his side.

"We know exactly who kidnapped and murdered Gilad, Naftali and Eyal, and we'll get them. The murderers came from the territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority; they returned to territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Therefore, the Palestinian Authority is obliged to do everything in its power to find them, just as we did, just as our security forces located the suspects in the murder of Mohammed Abu Khder within a matter of days.

"I would like to send my condolences to the Abu Khder family. I pledge that the perpetrators of this horrific crime, which must be resolutely condemned in the most forceful language. I pledge that the perpetrators of this horrific crime will face the full weight of the law. I know that in our society, the society of Israel, there is no place for such murderers. And that's the difference between us and our neighbors. They consider murderers to be heroes. They name public squares after them. We don't. We condemn them and we put them on trial and we'll put them in prison.

"And that's not the only difference. While we put these murderers on trial, in the Palestinian Authority, there is continuous incitement for the destruction of the State of Israel. It's a staple of the official media and the educational system.

"This is an asymmetrical conflict. We do not seek their destruction; they teach a very broad segment of their society to seek our destruction. And that must end. There is too much suffering. There is too much pain.

"We do not differentiate between the terrorists and we will respond to all of them, wherever they come from, with a firm hand. We will not allow extremists from wherever they come to ignite the region and shed more blood."

Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) said Sunday following the news that Jews are suspected of the murder of Khder: “We must all feel ashamed about the findings with regard to the murder of the Arab youth. The state of Israel cannot continue business as usual following the shocking murder of an innocent Arab youth by Jewish murderers. There is no difference between one kind of blood and another kind. The law enforcement establishment must act with determination and a strong arm against the murderes, and put them on trial.”

"We must take action to eliminate radicalization among us,” the minister determined. “The attempts by extremists to take the law into their own hands damages the fabric of life in the state of Israel, harms our internatiuonal interests and damages our insistent war in the face of terror.”

Police have arrested six suspects in the murder of 16-year-old Arab youth 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.

In wake of the ISA statement earlier today, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch released the following statement:

"The Jerusalem District of the Israel Police and the ISA have arrested several youths on suspicion of involvement in the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir.

"I would like to thank all those involved in the work, who, since the event, have devoted maximum efforts to uncovering and arresting the perpetrators.

"The State of Israel is a country that abides by, and enforces, the law, and will continue to take determined action against all those who violate the law. I ask that everyone show responsibility and work to prevent further disturbances.

"This was a shocking and unacceptable act which any sane person, certainly in a strong and democratic country such as the State of Israel, must strongly condemn."