Monday, February 19, 2018
News Roundup

Palestinian teen was burned alive, autopsy shows

JERUSALEM — Initial autopsy findings that a kidnapped Arab teenager from East Jerusalem was burned alive added Saturday to a growing sense that Israeli-Palestinian tensions have reached explosive levels.

Protests over the death of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, spread from East Jerusalem to Arab communities inside Israel. Youths burned tires and hurled stones in Nazareth, the largest Arab city in Israel; in Arab towns northeast of Tel Aviv; and along a major east-west highway flanked by Arab villages.

Palestinian Attorney General Abdelghani al-Owaiwi said in a statement that an autopsy showed that Abu Khdeir, who was abducted early Wednesday outside a mosque in East Jerusalem, died from "burns and their complications."

The postmortem examination of Abu Khdeir's body found "soot in the area of the breathing airways, windpipes and lungs, which indicates inhalation of this substance during the burning when he was alive," the statement said.

Burns of varying degrees were found on 90 percent of the youth's body, and his head was bruised, the statement said.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli Health Ministry and a police spokesman said they had no knowledge of the preliminary findings. The autopsy was performed at Israel's forensic institute with the participation of the chief Palestinian forensic pathologist, and final results have yet to be released.

But the Palestinian attorney general's statement, which was released late Friday, seemed likely to exacerbate what already had become a rapidly deteriorating security situation in the wake of the kidnappings and murders of three Israeli teenagers, who disappeared June 12 and whose bodies were found hidden in a field in the West Bank on Monday.

Police say they are still trying to determine whether Abu Khdeir's kidnapping and murder hours after the three Israeli teens' joint funeral was retaliation for the Israelis' deaths. But even without that official finding, the discovery of his body in a wooded area of Jerusalem surrounded by Jewish neighborhoods set off a wave of rioting in Arab East Jerusalem.

Tensions also remained high on the border with the Gaza Strip, after militants fired more rockets into Israel. Israel responded with airstrikes, hitting three "Hamas terror targets" in the southern Gaza Strip, the army said.

Egypt is working to mediate a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel after three weeks of cross-border hostilities triggered by the kidnapping of the Israeli teens, which Israel blamed on Hamas.

Comments
Sheriff’s undercover sting nabs 20 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors

Sheriff’s undercover sting nabs 20 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors

DUNEDIN –– Pinellas sheriff’s detectives spent their weekend luring in unlicensed electrical, plumbing and other home improvement contractors to a vacant home wired with cameras.It took only hours before a stream of people arrived to work on the outd...
Updated: 12 minutes ago

Updated: 14 minutes ago
Water Wars starting to simmer again in Tampa Bay

Water Wars starting to simmer again in Tampa Bay

CLEARWATER — A simmering feud between Tampa and the regional water authority avoided boiling over Monday, but little was resolved.At a Tampa Bay Water meeting, board members requested Tampa work with the agency on the city’s plan to convert tens of m...
Updated: 20 minutes ago

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

ST. PETERSBURG — Speaking in front of a small crowd gathered on the front lawn of the city’s main library, Mayor Rick Kriseman announced Monday that the facility will get a $6 million renovation and be renamed in honor of President Barack Obama.The a...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
For the weary White House, Florida shooting offered a ‘reprieve’ from scandals

For the weary White House, Florida shooting offered a ‘reprieve’ from scandals

The White House was under siege.Domestic abuse allegations against a senior aide were ignored, pointing to a potential high-level coverup. Two Cabinet secretaries were caught chargin taxpayers for luxury travel. A Playboy centerfold alleged an extram...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tampa Electric appeals OSHA citation for fatal Big Bend accident

Tampa Electric appeals OSHA citation for fatal Big Bend accident

TAMPA — Tampa Electric Co. is formally contesting the biting citation the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration handed down in December for a maintenance incident in June that left five workers dead.At a meeting with the Tampa Bay Tim...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Updated: 2 hours ago
Freestyle skier doesn’t even bother to try tricks in Olympic women’s halfpipe

Freestyle skier doesn’t even bother to try tricks in Olympic women’s halfpipe

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — The words left Liz Swaney’s lips without an ounce of irony. No telling curl of the lips. No wink. Nothing. She meant them. All of them. "I didn’t qualify for finals so I’m really disappointed," the ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
On deck in Rays ballpark quest: Tampa Bay’s business community

On deck in Rays ballpark quest: Tampa Bay’s business community

TAMPA — Columbia Restaurant owner Richard Gonzmart says he’s ready to put his checkbook where his heart is when it comes to supporting a Tampa Bay Rays move to Ybor City.So is the investment fund for the founding family of Ashley Furniture. So, it ap...
Updated: 3 hours ago