JERUSALEM, Nov. 30 (Reuters) – An Israeli court on Monday found two Jewish defendants guilty of the 2014 murder of a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem, but held off on formally convicting a third man pending a psychological review, Israeli broadcasters said.
Prosecutors said the three, two of whom were minors, had confessed to abducting, bludgeoning and burning Mohammed Abu Khudair in what they described as revenge for the killing days earlier of three Israeli youths by Hamas militants.
Israeli-Palestinian tensions have risen sharply since three Israeli teens were kidnapped on June 12, 2014 and later found dead in the occupied West Bank.
This was followed by the kidnapping of Mohammed Abu Khudair, 16, in his neighbourhood in East Jerusalem. His charred body was found hours later in a forest on the edge of the city.
Saber Al-Aloul, the director of the Palestinian forensic institute, attended the autopsy, which was carried out by Israeli doctors.
Al-A’wewy said Al-Aloul had reported soot had been found in Khudair’s respiratory canal, which meant that “the boy had inhaled this material while he was burnt alive.”
At Khudair’s funeral, furious Palestinians chanted “Intifada! Intifada,” calling for a new uprising against Israel. Stones thrown at Israeli police were met by tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets in one of the most highly charged displays of enmity in Jerusalem in years.
Many say it is events such as these that have contributed to the Third Intifada and the escalating violence in Jerusalem of late.