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Families of Suspects in Arab Teen's Murder Fear for Their Safety

Rights organizations send requests to IDF to protect families, as chaos after murder of Arab teen continues.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 7/7/2014, 5:52 PM

Arab rioters in Jerusalem
Arab rioters in Jerusalem
Flash 90

The families of the six suspects arrested Monday over allegations of murdering 16 year-old Mohammed Abu Khder fear for their lives, according to Walla! News, and have requested a security detail to guard them against 'revenge' attacks. 

Attorneys from the Honenu rights organization, which is handling the boys' case, passed on the request to the IDF. 

"Given the repeated requests from the families of suspects, as well as threats made ​​by senior officials and others who want revenge, we see Israel Police as responsible for the safety and security of these families," Attorney Adi Keidar wrote in the official request.

"We demand that the Israeli police provide them the proper protection and not abandon them, to avoid causing another disaster." 

Earlier Monday, police reported that three out of the six suspects arrested on Sunday confessed to the murder of the Arab teen, and even re-enacted the crime for investigators. 

The suspects have allegedly not been permitted to meet with their lawyers since the arrest until the investigation is complete. 

Meanwhile, little is objectively known about Abu-Khder's murder, five days after his body was found in the Jerusalem Forest. 

Police suspect that the crime was nationalistically motivated, allegedly as a "revenge crime" for the murders of Israeli teens Naftali Frenkel (16), Gilad Sha'ar (16), and Eyal Yifrah (19). 

An initial pathologist's report, issued from Palestinian sources, stated that Abu-Khder was burned alive, with the teen suffering from severe burns on 90% of his body. 

The suspects arrested for the murder are Jewish; some are minors. They are residents of Jerusalem, the community of Adam north of Jerusalem, and Beit Shemesh.  

Assumptions about the motivation for the crime have caused widespread rioting and ongoing incitement against Israeli Jews, with unrest centered in Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem and in the northern "Triangle" area, which is home to some 300,000 Israeli Arabs.