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3 Israelis in custody 'admit Palestinian teen murder'

July 7, 2014 3:25 A.M. (Updated: July 8, 2014 10:35 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Three of six Israelis held over the abduction and killing of a Palestinian teenager last week have confessed to the murder, a source close to the investigation said on Monday.

"Three out of six suspects in custody have confessed to the murder and burning of Muhammed Abu Khdeir, and performed a re-enactment of the crime" in front of officers, the source told AFP, requesting anonymity.

Israel arrested six Jewish extremists on Sunday in connection with the killing of 16-year-old Abu Khdeir on July 2, in a gruesome attack that triggered days of clashes in East Jerusalem and Palestinian towns in Israel.

The attack is believed to have been in revenge for the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the occupied West Bank last month, and the twin attacks have ratcheted up tensions throughout Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

Authorities have placed a gag order on most aspects of the investigation into Abu Khdeir's murder.

But Honenu, a legal organization which defends right-wing Jewish extremists, said it was representing six people -- three of them minors -- whose remand was extended by the Petah Tikva magistrates court, just outside Tel Aviv, on Sunday.

Attorney General Muhammad Abd al-Ghani Uweili told Ma'an Saturday that Abu Khdeir's autopsy showed soot in the victim's lungs and respiratory tract, indicating he was burnt alive.

Israeli commentators on social media falsely circulated rumors that Muhammad had been killed as part of a family feud, or because he was gay, following news of his murder.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report
Ma'an News Agency
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