Peres Vows 'Justice' to Murdered Arab Teen's Family
Israeli President Shimon Peres spoke with the father of murdered 16 year-old Arab Mohammed Abu Khder on Monday to convey his condolences.
"I know what you and your family are going through," Peres said. "I am full of shame and share in your grief."
"He was murdered by criminals," Peres continued. "I am ashamed on behalf of my nation and grieve with you."
"The only thing left for all of us to do is to ensure that no more children are murdered, and no more tears are shed are by mothers," he added.
Mohammed's father, Hussein Abu Khder, responded that he "seeks true justice in the court."
Peres agreed. "Justice will be done and we will not compromise on that," he replied. "We all reject murderers - and like you, I want justice, true justice."
"There is nothing that saddens us more than the tears of a mother and the grief of a father," Peres added. "Sadly there is no comfort for a grieving mother but there will be no compassion for the murderers."
"The murderers must be punished and the murder uprooted from its source. We must replace the mourner's tent with a tabernacle of peace."
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.
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.