A Palestinian teen was seen being forced into a vehicle in East Jerusalem Wednesday morning and was later found dead.
The partially burned body of Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir, 16, was discovered hours later in a nearby forest.
Palestinians believe the murder was retaliation for the three Israeli teens kidnapped and killed earlier this month.
Khdeir was reportedly taken before the pre-dawn meal for Ramadan. He was leaving his father’s kitchenware and appliance store around 3:30 a.m. when he was abducted. Police say they are reviewing security camera footage along the street where he walked.
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“He was kidnapped and killed by the settlers, and the police know that very well,” the imam of Khdeir's mosque, and a cousin, told the New York Times.
“They are trying to say that it is an honor killing, and this is categorically not true," he said.
"There are attempts to make a connection between the two [kidnappings] and we are still checking ... all directions. There are many possibilities, criminal and nationalistic, and everything is being examined in a responsible manner,” the Israeli minister of internal security, Yitzhak Aharonovich, said on Israel Radio.
President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority wants Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to “condemn the kidnapping and killing” as Palestine condemned the murder of the three Israeli teenagers.
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The uncle of one of the three Israeli teens who died, Yishai Frankel, said, "There is no difference between blood and blood. Murder is murder. Whatever the nationality or age are, there is no justification, no forgiveness or penance for any murder."
“The coming days, you can’t expect what will happen — the situation will get worse and worse,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, of the Palestine section of Defense for Children International. “The occupation and the cycle of violence should be ended to guarantee there is no further loss of life.”