Muhammad Abu Khdeir.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel will remove the name of a slain Palestinian teen from a national monument to "Victims of Terrorism" in response to a request from his family, a government spokesman said on Wednesday.
The addition of sixteen-year-old Mohammed Abu Khudeir's name to the monument had prompted protests on both sides of the conflict, with a group representing families of slain Israelis also demanding his name be removed.
"Following a request by the family the name shall be removed," said Haim Fitussi, a spokesman for Israel's National Insurance Institute.
Controversy abounded Tuesday morning following the government’s announcement that slain east Jerusalem Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s name would be enshrined on Mount Herzl’s Victims of Acts of Terrorism Memorial, along with Jewish victims.
Khdeir, 16, was abducted near his home in Shuafat last July and burned alive in the Jerusalem Forest at the hands of three Israeli extremists, who sought revenge for the slaying of three yeshiva students by terrorists in Hebron days earlier.
Yossi Haim Ben-David, 29, and two minors from Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh subsequently confessed to the crime. However, their attorneys claim the three are unfit to stand trial.
Following the announcement that Khdeir’s name would be added during a memorial ceremony on Remembrance Day, his father expressed shock that he and his wife were not consulted beforehand.
Israel swiftly declared the Palestinian youth a "victim of terrorism", enabling his family in east Jerusalem to receive Israeli state stipends.
However, the father said he has “no interest in receiving recognition from the State of Israel or in receiving National Insurance Institute payments.”
Meanwhile, Almagor, an Israeli organization dedicated to families of terrorism victims, condemned Abu Khdeir’s murder as barbaric, but it also issued a statement condemning the decision to include his name on the memorial.
Daniel K. Eisenbud contributed to this report.
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