A Palestinian teenager whose abduction and murder set off violent protests was burned alive, according to initial autopsy reports, as clashes over the incident spread yesterday from east Jerusalem to Arab Israeli towns.
Mohammed Abu Khder, 16, was abducted from his Shuafat neighbourhood in occupied east Jerusalem early on Wednesday. His charred body found not long after in a west Jerusalem forest.
Palestinians said it was the deed of Jewish extremists in revenge for the kidnapping and murder in the West Bank last month of three Israeli teenagers
Palestinian news agency Maan quoted Attorney General Mohammed Aluweiwi yesterday as saying the initial findings of a post-mortem indicated the presence of smoke in the boy's lungs, meaning he was still alive while he was being burned.
Abu Khder also suffered a head wound, but that did not cause his death, Aluweiwi added.
Israeli police said they still could not confirm the motive for Abu Khder's murder. A spokeswoman said police were investigating "all possibilities," and that there was a gag order on all details of the investigation.
The teenager's funeral on Friday was accompanied by clashes across Israeli-annexed Arab east Jerusalem, the third straight day of violence.
Disturbances spread to the Arab towns of Taibe in northeastern Israel and Jaljulia and Qalansuwa in the centre where one car was torched after its Jewish owner was pulled out of it. More a dozen Arab Israelis were arrested, police added.
One of those arrested in the east Jerusalem clashes was Tariq Abu Khder, the 15-year-old cousin of the murdered Palestinian youth and an American citizen on vacation in east Jerusalem.
Speaking yesterday, his parents said Tariq was arrested in Shuafat after being beaten by police on Thursday. The parents said they were told Tariq was arrested for being masked.