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Jerusalem: Palestinian Child Kidnapped, Tortured and Killed

In Heinous Crime by Israeli Settlers, Palestinian Child Kidnapped, Tortured and Killed and His Body Mutilated in Occupied Jerusalem

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns in the strongest possible terms the crime of kidnapping, torturing, killing and burning a Palestinian child, Mohammed Abu Khudair, from Shu’fat neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, by Israeli settlers. PCHR believes that the Israeli authorities’ connivance with crimes committed by Israeli settlers, supporting and protecting them, and failing to enforce the law against them serve to encourage them to commit more systematic crimes against Palestinian civilians. While PCHR views positively the statement by Robert Serry, the Envoy of the UN Secretary General to the Quartet, strongly condemning the crime of killing the child, it calls upon the international community to immediately act to provide protection to Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).

In one of the most heinous crimes committed by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians in the oPt, a group of Israeli settlers kidnapped Mohammed Hussein Abu Khudair, 16, from the vicinity of his family’s house in Shu’fat neighborhood in the north of occupied Jerusalem, subjected him to brutal torture, and then killed him.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 05:00 on Wednesday, 02 July 2014, 5 Israeli settlers kidnapped the child from the vicinity of his family’s house in Shu’fat neighborhood in the north of occupied Jerusalem. A few hours later, the Israeli police declared that they found the child’s body in forest lands near “Givat Shaul” settlement, adjacent to Deir Yassin village, west of Jerusalem. The police confirmed that signs of torture and burns were seen on the child’s body.

Eyewitnesses and residents of Shu’fat neighborhood stated to PCHR that according to recordings of surveillance cameras stabled on houses and shops in the area, 5 Israeli settlers traveling in a Hyundai car kidnapped Abu Khudair when he was in front of his house. Two of the settlers stepped out of the car and forced Abu Khudair into the car.

The Israeli police issued a statement indicating that they received a notice on Wednesday morning that “a child was kidnapped and forced into a vehicle in Shu’fat area.” A few hours later, the police received another notice about the child’s disappearance, and then another notice informing that a corpse was found in a forest area in Jerusalem. The police headed to the area and found the corpse of the child, on which signs of severe violence were seen. The Israeli police pointed out that the crime is being investigated and that initial suspicions are focused on a retaliatory act by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians and property in the context of the so-called “Price Tag.”

PCHR has constantly warned of the escalation of attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians and property. PCHR strongly condemns escalated attacks by Israeli forces and settlers in the oPt, in particular attacks by settlers in the West Bank, and:

1. Calls upon the international community to pressurize Israeli authorities to refrain from providing protection and connivance to settlers in regards to crimes committed by them and demands the Israeli government to prosecute settlers who perpetrate such attacks;
2. Calls upon the international community to pressurize Israel to comply with its obligations under the international law and end all settlement activities in the oPt;
3. Reminds the international community that settlement is a war crime according to the international law, so the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, individually or jointly, must comply with their legal and moral obligations, and ensure Israel’s respect for the Convention in the oPt, in accordance with Article 1 of the Convention.

ENDS

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