Tensions flare into violence in Jerusalem over death of teens
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/3/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Tensions erupted in East Jerusalem after news spread that Israeli settlers were suspected of having kidnapped and killed a Palestinian teenager in retaliation for the kidnapping and death of three Israeli teens in June.
Parts of East Jerusalem have erupted in violence after the abduction and death of a teenage Palestinian.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Angered by this news, as many as 200 Palestinian youths took to the streets of Shuafat on July 2. The teens, many with their heads wrapped with keffiyeh-a traditional Arab headdress-went on a rampage, hurling stones and smashing glass windows at nearby tram and bus stations.
Israeli police responded quickly, firing rubber bullets and throwing stun grenades and tear gas in an effort to disperse the protesters. The Palestinians retreated behind a barricade made of a metal waste container and doors that had been ripped off their hinges.
Suha, the mother of the slain Palestinian-17-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir-waited in her home near the clashes for her son's body to be released from the police's forensics unit. She also waited for her husband Hussein who had been detained by the police.
One of Khdeir's friends, Aladdin Ammouri, was with Suha, and found it difficult to keep anger at bay.
"First of all they tortured him, then he was beaten up, then he was set on fire, in the early hours," Ammouri said. "These are our lives, we're trying to live them."
Rumors has grown that Khdeir had been killed by family members as opposed to Israeli settlers, but Ammouri said this was a lie.
"The press is lying, saying it's a fight between families. It's not. It's a fight with the police."
Khdeir's cousin, who called himself Nick, said he witnessed the kidnapping by Jewish settlers.
"They asked him for a lighter then they put gas in his eyes," he said. "He's a small guy. They took him, and we called the police, we left the police to see the security cameras here, because there are a lot all around. They said we needed to prove someone took him, and they weren't sure of our story."
In the evening of July 2, police found a badly burned body to the west of the city in a forest, but they said they were unsure of a connection. When they confirmed the body as Khdeir's, the usually quiet streets of Shuafat erupted in anger and grief.
"The kidnapping and murder is in retaliation to the deaths of those three Israeli teenagers a couple weeks ago. There's so much tension and pressure from all sides today, it's very tense, and it's a tragedy to see the tension between us and the soldiers," Nick said.
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