Mohammed Abu Khder
Mohammed Abu Khder Courtesy of the family

The family of Mohammed Abu Khder, the Arab youth who was cruelly murdered and burned by Jews last summer in a nationalist revenge attack, is reportedly angry that his name has been added to the list of terror victims recognized by the National Insurance Institute (NII), and that it appears at the Har Herzl memorial for terror victims.

"We do not want Mohammed added to this list,” unnamed family members reportedly told NRG. “We do not see ourselves as Israelis, but as Palestinians. We do not want recognition from the state of Israel or the National Insurance money. We want the three defendants who burned Mohammed to receive the proper punishment. The most serious punishment – only that will calm us down.”

The Ministry of Defense announced after charges were filed against Abu Khder's murderers that he has been recognized as a victim of terror and “joins the family of the bereaved.”

Abu Khder, who lived in Shuafat, in northern Jerusalem, was abducted, murdered and set on fire on July 2, 2014 by three Jews, two of whom were minors. The defendants in the murder case said they were acting in revenge for the abduction and murder of three yeshiva boys, Naftali Frenkel (16), Gilad Sha'ar (16), and Eyal Yifrah (19), who were abducted June 12 and murdered. 

Terror victims' group Almagor is also angry at the news and demands that his name be removed from the memorial plaque at Har Hezrl and from the NII website. Almagor said that Abu Khder was not murdered as part of the struggle for Israel's existence but as a result of "the insanity of criminals."

"A random killing carried out by people whose sanity is in doubt cannot be compared to organized actions by states and enemy countries,” said Almagor.

The name of the central suspect in of Abu Khder is Yosef Haim Ben-David. He is a Jerusalem-area resident. The others are 16-year-olds, one from Jerusalem and the other from Beit Shemesh, west of Jerusalem. All three are relatives.

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 village of Hizme.