Israeli police have arrested a group of Jewish extremists in connection with the kidnap and murder of a Palestinian teenager in east Jerusalem, an Israeli official told reporters on Sunday.
“Apparently the people arrested in relation to the case belong to an extremist Jewish group,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity, shortly after the website of the Haaretz newspaper reported six arrests in connection with the case.
The kidnap and murder of Mohammed Abu Khudair, 16, on Wednesday sparked four straight days of riots that began in annexed Arab east Jerusalem but on Saturday spread to more than half a dozen Arab towns in Israel.
The areas were largely quiet on Sunday, but police remained on high alert.
Details of the case have been subjected to a strict gagging order.
Earlier, police acknowledged for the first time there were “indications that the background to the killing was nationalistic”.
Abu Khudair’s burnt body was discovered in a Jerusalem forest on Wednesday, a day after the burial of three Jewish teens who were abducted while hitchhiking in the occupied West Bank on June 12.
Their bodies were found on Monday, near the road where they had gone missing, and Israel blames Hamas militants for their kidnapping and killing. The Islamist group has neither confirmed nor denied involvement.
Palestinians have clashed with Israeli police in Jerusalem over the past several days. The violence spread on Saturday to Arab towns and villages in central and northern Israel.