Cousins of murder victim Muhammad Abu Khdeir arrested for litany of violent crimes

Duo accused of throwing firebombs at police, light rail, and shooting automatic weapon at Jewish homes.

Palestinians carry the body of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir during his funeral in Shuafat (photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinians carry the body of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir during his funeral in Shuafat
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Two years after Muhammad Abu Khdeir, 16, was badly beaten and burned alive by three Jewish zealots in the Jerusalem Forest, two of his cousins were arrested last Wednesday and charged with a number of violent charges, including throwing firebombs at police and the light rail and firing an automatic weapon at Jewish homes.
Muhammad Abu Khdeir (who shares the same name with his cousin), 21, and Nasser Abu Khdeir, 19, both of northeastern Jerusalem’s Shuafat neighborhood, were apprehended following a joint police and Shin Bet investigation into numerous attacks since the beginning of last year.
“Both suspects were involved in carrying out a number of attacks, including throwing firebombs at police officers and the light rail, causing serious damage, although no one was injured,” said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld on Monday.
“Additionally, in January of 2015, both of them fired rounds from a submachine gun at several Jewish homes causing damage, although, thankfully, no one was injured.”
Both men have been arraigned at Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court and Rosenfeld said police continue to investigate Shuafat and Ras al-Amud residents suspected of rioting on the Temple Mount and carrying out similar attacks.
“The Israel Police in Jerusalem is continuing operations to prevent terrorist attacks and other dangerous scenarios from taking place,” Rosenfeld said.
In May, a Jerusalem District Court judge sentenced Yosef Haim Ben David to life in prison, plus 20 years, for being the ringleader in the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir on July 2, 2014. In February, the court sentenced two unidentified minors who had already been convicted of assisting Ben David with the murder – one to life in prison, and one to 21 years in prison.
During riots in Shuafat following Abu Khdeir’s brutal murder, another cousin, Tariq Khdeir, then 15 and a visiting American citizen from Florida, made international headlines after police were videotaped severely beating him before placing him under arrest for allegedly rioting.
On the day of his widely condemned beating and detention, police claimed Khdeir was masked, armed and actively participating in rioting against officers during a violent demonstration the day before his cousin’s funeral.