Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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.

Israeli riot police take positions during clashes with Palestinians in the Arab town of Ar’ara in northern Israel on Saturday. Clashes between police and Palestinian protesters spread from East Jerusalem to Arab communities.

Associated Press

Israeli riot police take positions during clashes with Palestinians in the Arab town of Ar’ara in northern Israel on Saturday. Clashes between police and Palestinian protesters spread from East Jerusalem to Arab communities.

Palestinian teen was burned alive, autopsy shows 07/05/14 [Last modified: Saturday, July 5, 2014 10:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays beat Orioles, but tough stretch looms that could change their plans (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday was a step back in the right direction for the Rays, who halted a season-high five-game losing streak by hanging on — and we mean that pretty much literally — for a 5-4 win over the Orioles.

    The Rays’ Tim Beckham celebrates with Mallex Smith after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.
  2. Diaz, Taddeo win easily in special Miami Senate primaries


    Two Miami state Senate candidates who raised and spent the most in their respective primaries — Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz and Democratic businesswoman Annette Taddeo — notched easy victories in a special election Tuesday night.

    Republican candidate Jose Felix Diaz is surrounded by supporters after he won the primary for Florida’s Senate District 40 race. Democrat Annette Taddeo, right, celebrates her victory with supporter Venus Lovely at BJ’s Restaurant in The Falls.
  3. In live debate, Kriseman and Baker ask St. Pete: Is the city better off?



    Mayoral candidates Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker made their best pitch to voters in front of a live television audience on Tuesday night. The candidates essentially asked this: Is the city better off now than it was four years ago?

    Incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker debate in front of a live television audience during the City of St. Petersburg Mayoral Debate at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg on Tuesday evening. The event was sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times and Bay News 9. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  4. Romano: It all comes down to sewage in this mayoral race

    Local Government

    Well, poop.

    Nothing else really matters, does it?

    Schools, economic development, public safety? Pfft. The Rays stadium, affordable housing, the pier? Ack. When it comes to the St. Petersburg mayoral election, sewage is the yin, the yang and the yuck.

    At Tuesday’s debate, incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman said responsibility lies on him regarding the sewage crisis.
  5. Shooting sends man to hospital in St. Pete


    ST. PETERSBURG — Police were investigating a shooting that occurred around 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday and sent a man to the hospital.