Netanyahu calls on police to quickly find culprits, motive for murder of Arab youth

PM warns against vigilantism amid Palestinian claims that murder of Arab youth was a revenge attack; Abbas calls for PM to directly condemn murder.

July 2, 2014 13:11
1 minute read.
Binyamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.. (photo credit: AVI OHAYON - GPO)


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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called for law enforcement  to work as quickly as possible to find the perpetrators and motives of the "reprehensible" murder of an Arab youth whose body was found in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

The premier attempted to calm  tensions amid rioting in east Jerusalem,  calling on all sides not to take the law into their own hands. He emphasized  that Israel is "a nation of laws and everyone must act according to the law."

The body of an Arab youth was found in the Jerusalem Forest near a gas station on Wednesday morning.  Palestinians believe the youth was kidnapped from Beit Hanina on Tuesday night.

Police said that they were yet to determine whether the boy's killing was nationalistic or criminal in nature, while Palestinian rioters believe he was killed by Israelis as revenge for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on Netanyahu to make an outright condemnation of the killing of the Arab youth, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.

Abbas demanded that Netanyahu denounce what he said was the kidnapping and murder of the 16-year-old. He also blamed the current atmosphere of tensions in the region on Israel, calling for "real action" to prevent attacks by settlers.

The Palestinian leader said that Netanyahu should condemn the murder of the Arab youth, just as Abbas had condemned the recent kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens.

After the body of the teenage boy was found on Wednesday, National Police Commissioner Yochanan Danino said authorities will not allow civilians to take the law into their own hands and the public must practice restraint in these days of tension and violence.

The volatile potential of the crime - which has still not been proven to be nationalist - was evident in statements police made to the press on Wednesday.

Police said they had increased their level of readiness across the country, in particular around "areas of tension" between Arabs and Jews, such as mixed-cities in the Northern and Coastal districts.

That said, Tel Aviv Police said they have not taken any special measures or that they expect any incidents in the Jaffa-Bat Yam area, which has been the site of violent clashes in the past.

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