Just a day after Israel launched a series of airstrikes on Hamas-controlled territories, a Palestinian teen was killed in an alleged revenge attack in Jerusalem. According to Reuters, the body of the Palestinian teenager was found Wednesday in a forest in the Israeli city. The discovery, as well as the rising tensions between the Israelis and Palestinians, led Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to open a police investigation into the alleged murder, urging both sides on the Gaza Strip to "not to take the law into their own hands."
The Jewish Telegraph Agency reported that the Palestinian teen was abducted from Beit Hanina, a Palestinian neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem. Eyewitnesses told the news source that the teen was forced into a car early Wednesday morning as he waited outside his house. Police investigators said his body showed signs of violence and was badly burned.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Jerusalem authorities identified the body as 17-year-old Mohammed Abu Khudair. He was a resident of Shuafat, a Palestinian section in northern Jerusalem.
Jerusalem Mayor Nuir Barkat released a statement condemning the murder, saying: "This is not our way and I am fully confident that our security forces will bring the perpetrators to justice. I call on everyone to exercise restraint."
Following the news of the alleged revenge murder of the Palestinian teen, riots broke out in Beit Hanina and other eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods. Palestinian and Israeli residents reportedly threw rocks at each other as they took to the streets.
Because of the rising violence, police presence in Jerusalem's Palestinian neighborhood's has increased. According to Haaretz, Jerusalem police are blocking the entrances to Beit Hanina. Meanwhile, Israelis protested near the center of Jerusalem, calling for revenge on Palestine.
The alleged murder and swelling riots come just two days after Israel launched airstrikes on 34 targets in the Hamas-controlled regions of Palestine. The airstrikes were largely believed to be a response to the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers, whose bodies were discovered in a shallow grave on Monday. The Israeli teens were abducted three weeks ago.
Hamas officials have denied any involvement with the murders. However, Netanyahu placed the blame on Hamas, saying in a speech on Tuesday: “Hamas will pay.”
The three Israeli teens were buried on Tuesday, as Israelis held a statewide tribute.