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Israel recognizes Abu Khdeir as terror victim

April 21, 2015 7:44 P.M. (Updated: April 23, 2015 9:49 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities on on Tuesday added Muhammad Abu Khdeir, a Jerusalem teenager burned to death by Israeli extremists last summer, to a list of terror victims located in Mount Herzel, West Jerusalem.

Israel marked Memorial Day on Tuesday to honor soldiers and civilians killed since the founding of the state in 1948.

The family of Muhammad Abu Khdeir told Ma'an that Israel only added his name to "improve its image to the world" after the gruesome murder which shocked residents of East Jerusalem.

"We refuse that Muhammad's name be included to the list of Jewish victims, and adding his name to the list will not change the fact of Israeli racism," the family said.

Relatives said that the suspects in the killing have had 12 court hearings since the incident, despite overwhelming evidence of the crime.

A Palestinain suspect would have been sentenced immediately, without delays, they said.

The father of Muhammad told Ma'an that Israeli authorities in Jerusalem forced the family to remove a large picture of their son which they put up outside of their home last year, and threatened to fine the family 2,000 shekels ($500) every day that the poster was not removed.

Hussein Abu Khdeir added that the Almagor Terror Victims Association in Jerusalem had originally objected to adding Muhammad's name to the memorial list and called for it to be removed.

Abu Khdeir was killed in July 2014 in a suspected revenge attack for the murders of three Israeli teenagers in the occupied West Bank.

Three suspected Jewish extremists are facing trial in Jerusalem.

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