Israel arrests suspects in both murders: the Israeli teens and the Palestinian teen

July 6, 2014 • 1:01 pm

According to today’s Times of Israel, Israel has taken several people into custody for the murder of a Palestinian teenager. It now looks like the Palestinian teenager, Muhammud Abu Khdeir (see photo below) was indeed killed by Israeli terrorists, and in a gruesome way, in reprisal for the murder of the three Israelis. The Times reports:

Several people were arrested Sunday in connection with the murder of 16-year-old Muhammed Abu Khdeir, whose burned body was found in the Jerusalem forest on Wednesday morning, officials said Sunday.

The suspects are members of a Jewish extremist cell, the Shin Bet security agency said.

Officials suspect the killing was most likely carried out by Jewish extremists in revenge for the killing of three Israeli teenagers earlier in June.

Several Israeli media outlets reported that six people in total were arrested, including a number of minors.

The suspects are from Beit Shemesh, Jerusalem and the settlement of Adam, police said, according to Channel 2.

“Apparently the people arrested in relation to the case belong to an extremist Jewish group,” an unnamed official was quoted by AFP as saying.

An official speaking on the condition of anonymity told the Associated Press that authorities believe the killing was “nationalistic” in nature.

“Nationalistic,” of course, means they killed the kid because he was Palestinian. And the death was apparently horrible:

On Saturday, the Palestinian Authority attorney-general, Dr. Muhammed Abed al-Ghani al-Aweiwi, said that Abu Khdeir was burned alive, according to the preliminary findings of the autopsy.

He said flammable material was found in Abu Khdeir’s lungs and breathing passages, indicating he was still alive when he was set on fire. Aweiwi added that additional lab tests were needed and that the final autopsy report would be issued only after those tests were completed.

Aweiwi told Palestinian news agency Ma’an that Abu Khdeir had sustained severe burns across 90 percent of his body, including his head, where he was also beaten.

Abu Khdeir’s mother is of course devastated, and said this:

In East Jerusalem, Abu Khdeir’s mother, Suha, welcomed news of the arrests but said she had little faith in the Israeli justice system.

“I don’t have any peace in my heart. Even if they captured who they say killed my son,” she said. “They’re only going to ask them questions and then release them. What’s the point?”

“They need to treat them the way they treat us. They need to demolish their homes and round them up, the way they do to our children,” she added.

She’s absolutely right. If Israel demolishes the homes of Palestinian terrorists as a deterrent, it is obliged do the same with Israeli terrorists. Perhaps in that way terrorists from both countries will think twice before committing violence.  I trust that Israel (If wants to have any credibility) won’t question and release the suspects without good reason, and if there is good reason to suspect them, they must stand trial for murder.

Here is the child who will never see adulthood:

16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir, a Palestinian teenager whose body was found Wednesday, July 2 in Jerusalem’s forest area (photo credit: AFP via family handout)

In a further development, The Jerusalem Post reports that one suspect in the killing of the three Israeli teenagers has also been arrested by the IDF (Israeli Defense Force

The IDF arrested a terrorism suspect in Hebron overnight between Saturday and Sunday, Palestinian media agencyMa’an reported.

Ma’an said the raid occurred in the city’s Qarn al-Thour neighborhood, and that the arrest was made “in connection with the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers weeks earlier.

It named the suspect as Husam Dufish, and cited his relatives and Palestinian security sources as confirming the raid on his home.

“Israeli intelligence accuses Dufish of involvement in the killing of the three teens along with Amir Abu Eisha and Marwan al-Qawasmi,” the report said.

Security forces said “Dufish had disappeared since the teens were kidnapped, while his family told Ma’an that he was in his house living his life normally,” it added.

The IDF raided his home two weeks ago, but he was not at home, and his family received a summons to an intelligence office for questioning, which he failed to comply with.

Three more children—the murdered Israelis—who will always be missed:

Screen shot 2014-07-06 at 3.48.39 PM

Notice that in both cases it was Israeli forces who captured the terrorists. The accused Husam Dufish, had he eluded Israeli forces (a tough thing to do), would have been lauded as a hero in Palestine.  Certainly Palestine wasn’t putting much effort into catching the terrorists, though there are reports that the Palestinian Authority did help the IDF.

What Israeli terrorists did to that child is as horrible as what the Palestinians did to the three Israeli children, and the punishments must be the same. Terrorism is terrorism, no matter who commits it, and needs to be stopped.  The difference between Israel and Palestine is that the Israeli government does not see Israeli terrorists as heroes, but rounds them up and punishes them. It’ll be a cold day in Gaza when the Palestinian Authority or, especially, Hamas does that. And the condemnation of the Israeli terrorists in Israel was much more pervasive than the condemnation of the Palestinian terrorists in Palestine, where a few lame words from Abbas didn’t offset the widespread rejoicing and celebration of the dead Israeli children.

58 thoughts on “Israel arrests suspects in both murders: the Israeli teens and the Palestinian teen

  1. How awful that all this kidnapping and murder is taking place. You have to be in a pretty dark place to be able to go through with the killing of a child like that.

    1. It is such a tragedy for four young men to lose their lives in such a desperately lonely and horrific way.

    1. It appears in that video that he’s wearing some sort of mask. While this does not excuse the brutality by the police, it does lend credence to their contention that he was among six masked youths throwing fire bombs at police, resisting arrest and using knives. There was a video online yesterday showing a CHP (CA) officer brutally punching a mentally ill woman for walking on the median of a highway. That has to be less of an offense than throwing Molotov Cocktails.

      1. Yeah, he may be guilty of attacking the police and resisting arrest. But still the circle of violence continues and this will no doubt fire up some more hate on both sides.

        I saw the video of that poor woman yesterday. Had a flash-back ( not one of the good ones ) to ’91. Some people just shouldn’t be granted authoritative rights.

      2. There was a video online yesterday showing a CHP (CA) officer brutally punching a mentally ill woman for walking on the median of a highway. That has to be less of an offense than throwing Molotov Cocktails.

        Sorry but I really don’t get the point. The officer was clearly using excessive amount of force and there should be law protecting humans from the police brutality. I don’t know much details about the case with the Palestinian-American kid but the example with the officer punching the subdued woman ten times in the face is not really helpful.

        1. The point is, that police brutality knows no borders. In the article, the US State Dept. strongly condemned the excessive use of force. It’s difficult for the US to criticize the Israeli police, when our police are just as vicious with less provocation. Civilized countries will remove and/or punish these officers. CA probably will and Israel probably will.

          All police will act in this manner if provoked enough. If there were indeed 6 young men throwing fire bombs at the cops, then it may be understandable, if not justifiable. Attacking a police officer with a deadly weapon justifies the use of deadly force. This kid may have been lucky to get away with his life. We should wait to see what the investigation shows. The good thing is, that there will be an investigation. The real tragedy is that there were three kids murdered and Hamas (among others) celebrated. No chance of them investigating and punishing the perpetrators.

          1. Police / Border Patrol / Security Guards will tend to believe a local, transient state of war has been delared for them in certain situations. I am not saying it is justified, but if a person goes to extraordinary lengths to get the attention of the police in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable enough to use violence then there might be something wrong with what that person is doing.

      3. I completely agree that there exists a culture of abuse and corruption in law enforcement and that more attention needs to be paid to the frequency with which the police in America casually inflict violence on African-American and Hispanic teenaged males and the mentally ill. The beating of Tariq Khdeir is deplorable but it in no way exonerates the actions of the Palestinians or Hamas. Enumerating the bad acts of one side doesn’t ameliorate the bad acts of the other. Israel must make the murderers of Muhammed Abu Khdeir stand trial and if that trial results in a conviction, the sentence should be lengthy. Also, the rocket attacks must stop and Hamas must not react with joy and gratitude at the murder of three Jewish teens. If, by chance, the murderers of Yifrach, Shaar and Frenkel were apprehended in the West Bank I very seriously doubt that they would be made to stand trial in a place where the ruling party looks upon the killings favorably.

  2. I think you have this a little wrong… Israel must not inflict group punishment: by bombing Palestinians or by destroying Israeli’s houses. That has only ever stirred up hatred and anger. Neither are useful to anyone…

    1. How is selective bombing “group punishment”? As opposed to, say, terrorist acts.

      By sheer coincidence, yesterday I stumbled on a snip of a television program that interviewed a Tel Aviv University researcher. He happened to be a general, but also a conflict scientist. It was a one-sided show (interviewed people when drunk) so I turned off after, but that piece was very instructive.

      The general (I didn’t get his name) had developed a model for how to wipe out terrorist activity. Apparently it was tested last year, when there was Hamas robot attacks on Israeli civilians. Apparently Israel was unprepared and had to spend 1 year to get intelligence while their anti-robot defense prevented undue loss of life.

      Thereafter Israel started to “bomb Palestinians [Hamas]” and snipe them no doubt, et cetera. The model predicts (dunno about the network details) that with 50 % kills the terrorist groups stops at 100 % of instances, and at 25 % kills they stop in 80 % of instances. Israel got up to 20-25 % kills when Hamas gave up.

      A very cold calculus, of course. US eradicated Al-Qaeda influence by economical means mostly. Unfortunately Hamas has both more or less successful border smuggling into their areas, and support from other nations…

    2. I forgot, the example was to demonstrate usefulness. I think I did, or at least I see how Israel construe usefulness.

    3. There is a difference between collective punishment and collatoral damage, but I agree with you that the Israelis (and Palestinians) should not be engaging in the former.

  3. I agree with nearly evrything. From my perspective as an Israeli, the Jewish terrorists are worse, because unlike the external threats we know to identify and deal with, they are challenging from the inside the very idea of a the Israeli national sovereignty.
    I am not an expert, but I believe that the different legal setups in the West Bank and Israel proper, will not allow the same treatment of terrorists from both sides, but this is not necessarily for the benefit of the Jewish ones.

  4. I appreciate the even-handed treatment. Certainly I would agree that despite Israelis effectively committing more violence than Palestinians, it’s not for lack of desire on the Palestinians’ part. Israel on the whole shows a substantial degree of restraint given the power they have, and I believe that if the balance of power was reversed, the Palestinians would not hesitate to commit great atrocities against Israel. If anything, your articles have convinced me of that.

    (Israel, unfortunately, rarely seeks to prosecute violent settlers or IDF forces that abuse their power except when it would be especially embarrassing not to, and that impunity seems like the main enabler of violence against Palestinians. To be fair though, every country tends to turn a blind eye to abuses committed by their troops…)

    1. You are wrong. Israeli soldier are taught in the first week of basic training, very wide principles of things they musn’t do and command they musn’t follow, and they are told, in a way that everybody can understand that they will be criminally liable if they do these things. Fighting moral is a cherished value in the Israeli society. Of course, we can find failures herr and there, but Israel and the ISraelis take this very seriosly, and ut shows in much smaller uninvolved:involved casualties ratio comparing to western militaries operating in similar conditions

      1. Soldiers in every (Western) army are taught what they are supposed to do, but abuses happen nonetheless. Complaints seem to lead to investigation and prosecution about as often as complaints about police abuses in the US lead to prosecution of police officers: rarely. Turning a blind eye is probably inherent in all organizations that are allowed to investigate their own wrongdoing.

        1. A soldier violating military orders is not Israel or it’s military’s own wrongdoing.
          Abuses of power are criminal offences and are treated accordingly, by standards we Israelis are rightly proud of.

          1. Even the most corrupt police force claims to follow rigorous ethical standards, so such claims are meaningless. I prefer to look at the numbers. Most of the complaints filed with Israeli police about abuses by military police don’t get forwarded to the MPCID. They just disappear or get “lost”. Of those that are actually received by the MPCID, the great majority are never investigated. Of those that are investigated, approximately none lead to the filing of charges, and on the rare occasions when charges are filed, there is usually no significant punishment. Even well-documented, serious allegations, such as shooting journalists and children (to say nothing of mere beatings), usually go uninvestigated and almost never lead to punishment.

            I’m not saying Israeli police and soldiers are uniquely bad. Police forces all over the world turn a blind eye to their own abuses. But if you think Palestinians killing Israelis is a big problem – and it is – you should consider that Israelis kill about 10 times as many Palestinians. The ratio varies, but in the most recent year for which I have specific numbers, the ratio was about 25:1, according to the UN.

            1. We have already covered this. This ratio isn’t the result of Israeli brutality, but of huge efforts of Israel to defend its citizen and the Palestinian cynically doing the opposite. People like you fall to this.

        2. I’d say you’re mostly right. Lt. William Calley Jr. was the only US soldier, out of 20-30 charged, convicted in the My Lai massacre and he was only made to serve something like 3.5 years on house arrest. But there was an investigation, trial and an official finding of wrong-doing. There are no streets in America named in honor of Calley, but there is veneration of terrorists in Palestine. Bad acts committed by a soldier or an army from a western nation don’t excuse Islamic terrorism and a condemnation of one needn’t be construed as an acceptance of the other.

  5. The IDF is possibly the only national armed force that officially recognizes that the Nuremberg Defence is not one. How that works in practice I can’t be sure.

  6. I am quite confident that hamas would be more than happy to round up some terrorists on Israël territory. I am afraid the power balance is such that palestinans can’t even formerly unite in the gaza strip let alone form an effective police force. Not saying they would though.

  7. It seems like it comes down to a massive difference in culture between the Palestinians and Israel. We expect more from Israel because they are part of Western Civilization – that is, they are one of us. The Palestinians are not. They are in a culture in which some people think that the best thing to do when your daughter gets raped is to kill her. Their perception of justice, honor, and humanity is simply different. It is a difference that frightened Christopher Hitchens, so much so that he favored the war with Iraq.

    I don’t know how you resolve that difference, or even if it is possible to do so. By the look of it, the situation now is about as good as it is going to get, and I fully expect it to be about the same in another 10 years, and another 10 after that.

    1. It is a difference that frightened Christopher Hitchens, so much so that he favored the war with Iraq.

      I don’t think that is quite fair to the ol’ boy. His support of the war was not strung up on cultural/religious differences.

      He explains his reason for his support here: ( starts at 25 mins and 24 secs in. )

      I strongly urge you to take a look.

  8. If Israel to play even steven games, then Israel should let these murderers go free after few short years in prison. That would be just the same way Israel treats Palestinian murderers of Israelis. For example see all the blood soaked terrorists Israeli let go for 3 bodies of soldiers killed at the beginning of second Lebanon war.

  9. It is interesting that the news articles refer to the “The suspects are members of a Jewish extremist cell, …” while in the Israeli teens case “The IDF arrested a terrorism suspect in Hebron overnight between Saturday and Sunday.”

    This surely shows how fair and balanced the reporting in the Western media is. That is why Israel has never had the moral high ground except in the minds of those who follow the mainstream Western media. A country that occupies land from another country, treats people living there as less than human, can never have the moral high ground. Once Israel gives back that is not its own, violence in that area will automatically decrease, though it won;t vanish.

    Obligatory disclaimer – All killing of humans by humans is wrong, whether in war or as a form of deterrent punishment or for any other purpose.

    1. Which particular news sources do you want us to follow and would it have been better had the article stated “murder suspect”?

      Or do you simply want them to refer to the extremist cell as israeli terrorists as well?

    2. There was enough written in those discussions about accusiations that Israel is the culprit here, and I will not repeat it. However there is one interesting sentence you wrote:
      “Once Israel gives back that is not its own, violence in that area will automatically decrease” – will it decrease like in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jemen, Nigeria, Somalia, Mali etc. or you meant some other sort of “decreasing”?

    3. You are right about the phraseology but I think the US does the same thing. In fact I think it’s probably pretty common in all countries that they use tamer words to describe “insider” bad actors than “outsider” ones.

      That certainly says something about media hypocrisy or inconsistency. However, in countries with a free press, it says pretty much nothing about whether ‘Israel has the high ground.’ Some news organizations’ unfair coverage of a government action does not automatically make the government action unfair.

    4. FOX news is not the whole of western media. Your assessment is, in my opinion, inaccurate as to the manner in which the western media treats this issue and your characterization of the conflict is wholly one-sided. (see continual rocket attacks aimed at civilians) If there is so much blind, misplaced sympathy for Israel then why are there so many “Against Israeli Apartheid!” events on college campuses. Roger Waters’ opprobrium for Israel has crossed the line to naked anti-semitism and Pink Floyd just announced their first new record in twenty years and an accompanying tour. Israeli apologetics don’t seem to have hindered his career very much.

  10. Muhammud Abu Khdeir (see photo below) was indeed killed by Israeli terrorists

    I don’t think a bunch of lousy murderers goes any way at all to “terrorise” the Palestinian population.

    When do common criminals cross over the line to become “terrorists”?

    Let’s say there was a group of people (let’s call them “men”) who kept another group of people (let’s call these “women”) veritable prisoners in their own home… made them wear bags… denied them an education… beat them regularly…

    That sounds more like “terrorism” to me…

    Somehow that’s all condoned though…

  11. This report by the UN:

    Runs contrary to this statement:

    “The difference between Israel and Palestine is that the Israeli government does not see Israeli terrorists as heroes, but rounds them up and punishes them.”

    And this report (with links):

    From that report..”In turn, calls for blood and revenge began echoing throughout Israel and on social media, with a Facebook page dedicated to such calls quickly receiving 35,000 likes. It featured soldiers posing with weapons, asking for permission to kill, along with countless Israelis calling for revenge:”

    Runs contrary to this statement:

    “And the condemnation of the Israeli terrorists in Israel was much more pervasive than the condemnation of the Palestinian terrorists in Palestine, where a few lame words from Abbas didn’t offset the widespread rejoicing and celebration of the dead Israeli children.”

  12. Instead of citing reports, are you agreeing, then, that the celebrations of Palestinian deaths by Israelis is just as pervasive as the celebration of Israeli deaths by Palestinians? Are you claiming that the state-sponsored media of Israel incite just as much hatred of Palestinians as the official media of Palestine does against Israel and the Jews. Yes or no?

    Sorry, but you’re using anecdotes to overturn what is palpably true to all rational people, and which I’ve documented extensively with cartoons and posts over the months. What I said was true: Israel has rounded up the suspects in the Palestinian killing. That is NOT affected by the UN report you cite. As for your final anecdote, of course there are bad people in Israel. Who said otherwise. But you are pushing a moral equality that is simply ludicrous.

    1. Netanyahu called the parents of the slain Palestinian teenager. What did Abbas do?

      As Jerry states, there is no comparison.

  13. My natural sympathies are with the people of Israel, and I have natural antipathy towards islamic fascism. But it’s horribly complex. This is an interesting article on the ‘most hated man in israel’. An israeli who sympathises with the palestinians

  14. As to which police force caught the suspected murderer of the Israeli teens, wouldn’t this depend on which part of Hebron he was in? Are the Palestinian authorities able to patrol the Israeli-controlled section?

  15. Looks like things are getting a lot more complicated now. Hamas launched over 80 rockects today on Israeli civilians, including my mom’s town.
    This forces the Israeli to do something massive to stop this and I now hear that a the IAF is striking many terrorist targets in Gaza.

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