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Palestinian teen abducted, killed in suspected revenge attack

July 2, 2014 9:14 A.M. (Updated: July 4, 2014 10:22 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- A Palestinian teenager from occupied East Jerusalem was kidnapped and killed early Wednesday in a suspected act of revenge for the killing of three Israeli youths, Israeli army radio reported.

Locals identified the victim as 16-year-old Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir from the Shufat neighborhood.

Witnesses told Ma'an that footage from surveillance cameras shows Israelis stepping out of a Hyundai in front of Abu Khdeir's house and forcing the teen inside before speeding off.

The murder sparked a wave of clashes in East Jerusalem where around 200 angry young Palestinians threw stones at police, who responded with sound bombs and rubber bullets, an AFP correspondent and police said.

Quoting witnesses, the radio said the youth was seen being forced into a car in the Palestinian eastern half of the city.

A body was found shortly afterwards in another part of the city, the radio said, describing it as a "suspected revenge attack" for the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers from the southern West Bank on June 12.

Israel has blamed Hamas for their killings in an incident which has triggered calls for revenge.

Hamas has denied involvement in the incident.

Several hours after they were buried on Tuesday, around 200 Israelis rampaged through Jerusalem, stopping cars and the light rail and shouting "Death to Arabs," police and witnesses said. Police said 47 people were arrested.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri confirmed they were investigating reports of a kidnapping and said they had found a body but refused to say whether the two incidents were connected. She did not give details on the victim's identity.

"In the early hours of Wednesday morning, police received a report of a person being forced into a car in Beit Hanina," Samri told AFP, referring to a well-heeled East Jerusalem neighborhood.

"Within an hour, a body was found in Jerusalem that has still not been identified. We are looking to see if there is a connection between the two incidents."

Quoting witnesses, army radio said a black car had stopped next to a youth who was hitchhiking and he was forced inside. The car then took off.

Some time later, the family of the youth reported him missing, it said.

Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat denounced the murder and called for calm.

"This is a horrible and barbaric act which I strongly condemn. This is not our way and I am fully confident that our security forces will bring the perpetrators to justice," he said in a statement.

"I call on everyone to exercise restraint."

The body was discovered in a forest in Givat Shaul in southwest Jerusalem. An AFP correspondent said police had sealed off a large area around the neighborhood.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report.
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