UK & World News

  • 7 July 2014, 16:51

Israelis 'Confess To Killing Palestinian Teen'

Three Israelis have reportedly admitted killing Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khadair, who was abducted following the deaths of three Israeli youths.

A source close to the investigation told news agency AFP that three of the six suspects arrested on Sunday had confessed to the murder.

Their confession has not been independently verified.

The 16-year-old Palestinian from East Jerusalem was found dead in the Jerusalem Forest last week.

A preliminary post-mortem examination found hehad been burned alive.

Earlier today Israeli Prime Minister Benjanim Netanyahutelephoned Mohammed's father to express his outrage at the killing.

"We denounce all brutal behaviour. The murder of your son is abhorrent and cannot be countenanced by any human being," Mr Netanyahu told Hussein Abu Khadair.

The teenager's death has prompted days of violent protests which have spread from East Jerusalem to Arab Israeli towns.

Police said 110 people were arrested overnight for disturbing public order.

Their arrests follow the detention of Mohammed's cousin Tariq Abu Khadair who was filmed apparently being severely beaten by Israeli police.

Tariq, an American of Palestinian descent, has now been released from custody.

Police claim he resisted arrest, attacked officers and was carrying a slingshot when he was detained during the clashes.

It is suspected that Mohammed was killed in retaliation for the deaths of three of the Israeli teenagers, whose bodies were found in the West Bank last week.

An unidentified suspect is being held in connection with the killings.

Israel has made clear it holds the Islamist militant group Hamasresponsible, although Hamas has denied any involvement.

The deaths of the four teenagers has resulted in a spike in tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.

Both Israel and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, have stepped up aerial assaults against one another in recent weeks.

Hamas claims seven of its members were killed overnight in the deadliest Israeliairstrikes on Gaza in recent weeks.

It says the strikes hit a tunnel used by its men in the early hours of the morning.

The militant group said it would seek revenge, warning: "The enemy will pay a tremendous price" over the latest killings.

Two militants from a different group were reportedly killed in a separate strike.

The Israeli military said it targeted at least "14 terror sites" including "concealed rocket launchers" in retaliation for rocket attacks from Gaza which a military spokesman described as "unbearable and unacceptable."

Around a dozen rockets were reportedly fired overnight, injuring one Israeli soldier.

Another 25 rockets hit Israel on Sunday.

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