Clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian protestors erupted in Jerusalem and northern Israel after the death of an Arab teenager who Palestinians say was burned to death by Israeli extremists in a revenge killing.
Violence spread to Arab towns in northern Israel Saturday following the burial of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir in East Jerusalem on Friday. Protesters threw rocks at passing cars, burned tires and lobbed rocks and firebombs at police, the Associated Press reports, while police struck back with tear gas and stun grenades.
Demonstrators near the Arab town of Qalansawe pulled a Jewish Israeli man out of his car and set his vehicle on fire, though the driver was left unharmed. Tensions remained high after militants fired two rockets in southern Israel, though the number of rockets launched from the Gaza Strip has declined in recent days.
The recent wave of violence between Israelis and Palestinians began after three Israeli teenagers were abducted, setting off an Israeli manhunt in Palestinian territory that led to mass arrests and the deaths of at least five Palestinians. The teens were later found dead.
Abu Khdeir, meanwhile, was kidnapped in East Jerusalem on Wednesday while awaiting dawn prayer before his charred body was found in a forest. The Palestinian attorney general said the boy was burned alive by his abductors. An autopsy conducted by Israeli doctors and attended by a Palestinian coroner found black smoke in Khdeir’s breathing airways and lungs, the New York Times reports. Khdeir had burns on over 90 percent of his body.
In a separate incident, 15-year-old Tariq Abu Khdeir, a cousin of the slain teen and a U.S. citizen who attends school in Florida, was beaten by police on Thursday ahead of Mohammed’s funeral, according to his relatives. Tariq is being held by police without charges, his relatives said, though Israeli police say he was in a group of stone-throwing teenagers. A video of the teenager being beaten, with pictures of his badly swollen face, has been circulated around the Internet.