UK & World News

  • 5 July 2014, 3:21

Funeral Held For Murdered Palestinian Teenager

A funeral has been held for an Arab teenager who many Palestinians believe was killed by Israeli extremists in a revenge attack.

The death of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khadair has caused outrage after his burned body was found in Jerusalem Forest early on Wednesday morning.

Thousands of mourners, some firing weapons into the air, took to the streets in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Shuafat as the funeral procession made its way to a local cemetery.

His body was wrapped in a Palestinian flag and headscarf and taken to a mosque, before mourners carried the open casket to a cemetery.

Crowds chanted "intifada, intifada" - calling for a new uprising - and "with our blood and our spirit we shall sacrifice for the martyr".

Palestinian protesters clashed with police, with rocks thrown at security forces who fought back with tear gas and stun grenades.

Sky News Middle East Correspondent Sherine Tadros, in Shuafat, said there were reports of "dozens" of injured Palestinians, according to the Red Crescent.

"They're treating them for tear gas inhalation but also wounds from rubber bullets," said Tadros.

"The Israeli forces have essentially surrounded the entire neighbourhood - it's very difficult to get in and out.

"It was very difficult for the funeral procession to weave through the streets - that's when the clashes started."

CCTV footage has emerged which purports to show the moment when the teenager was bundled into a car and kidnapped.

Although the CCTV footage cannot be verified, the family says it has been taken by Israeli police and is being examined as part of the investigation into the murder.

Many Palestinians believe the teenager's death was a revenge attack for the abduction and killing of Israeli teenagers Gilad Shaar, 16, Eyal Yifrach, 19, and Naftali Frenkel, 16.

The three went missing while hitchhiking home from the Jewish seminaries where they studied near Hebron.

Many Israelis, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, believe militants from Palestinian group Hamas were responsible.

Israeli police have stressed they are yet to establish a clear motive for Mohammed's murder and say they cannot yet rule out a criminal, rather than nationalistic revenge motive.

MrNetanyahu has promised to track down those responsible.

Speaking on Thursday, he said: "We don't know yet the motives or the identities of the perpetrators, but we will.

"We will bring to justice the criminals responsible for this despicable crime whoever they may be.

"Murder, riots, incitement, vigilantism, they have no place in our democracy."

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