Don’t Take Revenge In Our Names, Say Families Of Murdered Israeli And Palestinian Teens

The families of Israeli teen Naftali Fraenkel and Palestinian teen Muhammed Abu Kuhdair have spoken out against the calls for violent retaliation.

1. Clashes continued in Jerusalem on Thursday, amid calls for revenge by Israelis and Palestinians following the deaths of the four teens.

AP Photo

On Monday, Israeli police announced that they had found the bodies of three Israeli teens who had been kidnapped 18 days earlier. Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach were buried in a shallow grave in the southern West Bank city of Hebron. Israeli police said they were looking for two Palestinian suspects in connection with the killings.

On Tuesday, just hours after the three teens were buried, a mob streamed through Jerusalem calling for revenge for their deaths. Hours later, the Palestinian family of Muhammed Abu Khubair said he had been kidnapped from his home.

Israeli police found Abu Khubair’s body, burned beyond recognition, in the forest outside Jerusalem Wednesday. Police say they are still looking for suspects.

In the East Jerusalem suburb of Shuafat, riots have raged outside the Abu Khubair home. Israeli soldiers armed with tear gas and stun grenades confronted Palestinian youths throwing rocks and calling for revenge for Abu Khubair. The youths say they are certain that Jewish settlers killed him.

2. But the families who have lost their sons have called for an end to the violence. The Fraenkel family released a statement on Wednesday saying “revenge is unjustified.”

DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP / Getty Images

“If, in fact, an Arab youth was killed for nationalistic reasons, then we’re talking about an awful and shocking deed,” said the Fraenkel family in a statement. “There is no difference between blood and blood. Murder is murder, whatever the nationality and age. There is no justification, nor forgiving, and no atonement for any murder.”

3. In Shuafat, the Abu Khubair family is still waiting for their son’s body to be released so that they can bury him. On Wednesday, they spoke out against kidnapping — “whether Jew or Arab.”

Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

“I am against kidnapping and killing,” said Hussein Abu Khubair, father of Muhammed, to the New York Times. “Whether Jew or Arab, who can accept the kidnapping and killing of his son or daughter? I call on both sides to stop the bloodshed.”

4. Israeli and Palestinian officials have also urged calm, saying that neither side wants to see an escalation in violence, but few appeared to answer the call for quiet.

Baz Ratner / Reuters

Israeli troops mobilized around the Gaza Strip on Thursday after Palestinian militants there fired some 30 rockets at southern Israel over 24 hours, three of which hit homes in the border town of Sderot. Israeli airstrikes overnight hit 15 different sites, wounding 15 people, according to Palestinian medics.

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