Indictments Filed in Abu Khder Murder
Israeli prosecutors indicted three Jews on Thursday over the kidnapping and murder of a Palestinian Arab teenager who was burned to death this month, the justice ministry said.
The identity of those charged was not disclosed by the ministry, which simply stated that one is a 29-year-old from the community of Adam, north of Jerusalem.
The others are 16-year-olds, one from Jerusalem and the other Beit Shemesh, west of Jerusalem. All were from the same family.
Mohammed Abu Khder, 16, was kidnapped from eastern Jerusalem on July 2 and burned to death.
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).
The three Israeli youths face separate charges over the attempted kidnapping of another Palestinian, aged seven, from the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, as well as alleged arson attacks on Palestinian-owned cars.
Two of them are also accused of setting alight a Palestinian shop in the town of Hizme, the ministry said in a statement.
Earlier this month, the police reported that three out of the six suspects arrested confessed to the murder of the Arab teen, and even re-enacted the crime for investigators.
An Israeli government legal adviser quoted in the media denounced the attacks as "shocking acts of racism against innocent people".
Israel's internal security agency, the ISA or Shin Bet, this week disclosed confessions of three Jewish extremists who said they kidnapped and killed Khder in revenge for the murder of the three Israelis by Palestinian militants.
The trio had decided to kill an Arab, it said, and equipped themselves with cable ties, petrol and other materials, and had randomly chosen Abu Khder as their victim.
Shin Bet also said at the time that the suspects were all related.
On July 1, the suspects had tried to kidnap a child elsewhere in east Jerusalem, but were thwarted by the youth's mother, according to the indictment.
Police said the three had scoured east Jerusalem neighborhoods in search of a victim before happening on Abu Khder.
After forcing him into the car, they struck him on the head and drove to the Jerusalem Forest, where they poured flammable liquid on him and set him alight.
An initial pathologist's report, issued from Palestinian sources, stated that Abu-Khder was burned alive, and that he had suffered from severe burns on 90% of his body.
Nearly every revelation about the case - from the body being found to the discovery that the suspects were Jews - has led to Arab violence against police and Jews in Jerusalem, sparking chaos in the eastern part of the city and resulting in the utter destruction of two light rail stations there.