Six Israeli suspects were arrested today for the abduction and murder of an Arab teen, whose death set off a spree of violence in East Jerusalem.
The arrest follows a series of violence in the Israeli capital in reaction to the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers. Although no arrests have been made for this crime, authorities believe it was the work of Hamas.
Not long after the discovery of the boys’ bodies, Mohammaf Abu Khudair, 16, went missing Tuesday night, and his burnt body was found in a forest Wednesday morning. Since then, tensions have run high in the country as violence exploded in Jerusalem.
Within hours of the six arrests, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the murders, stating that there is no place for those kind of murderers in Israeli society. He also called on all sides to show responsibility and quell violence.
“We will not allow extremists, it doesn’t matter from which side, to inflame the region and cause bloodshed,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a nationally televised statement. “Murder is murder, incitement is incitement, and we will respond aggressively to both.”
The six unidentified Jewish nationalists were arrested Sunday morning after one of the nationalists admitted to the killing of Abu Khudair. Authorities have described the suspects as young males, including minors, all from the Jerusalem area. The Israelis confessed to killing him during questioning with Sheit Bet security agents.
Details of the arrests and investigation still remain unknown due to the court sanctioned gag order. Of the six suspects, five are being held for an additional five days, and the sixth has been ordered an additional five days on top of that. All defendents are being barred from legal representation.
“The State of Israel is a country that abides by, and enforces the law, and will continue to take determined action against all those who violate the law,” Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said in a statement following the arrests. “I ask that everyone show responsibility and work to prevent further disturbances.”
As of Sunday, violence in East Jerusalem began to calm down, and businesses and markets have begun to reopen to traffic. But the situation along the Gaza strip remains tense, as militants and Israelis continue to engage in missile strikes.