Martyr of the Dawn

Translation / Interpretation / Caption Text

Arabic translation:
Martyr of the dawn
The youth Muhammad Abu Khdeir
2 - 7 - 2014
He was kidnapped by Zionist settlers while he was going to dawn prayers in Jerusalem, then they executed him in cold blood and burned his body

Analysis / Interpretation / Press / Source

New York Times
JERUSALEM — The body of an abducted Arab teenager was found in a Jerusalem forest early Wednesday, fanning outrage among Palestinians and threatening to further escalate the broader tensions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Police were investigating the death as a possible Israeli revenge killing for the kidnap and killing of three Israeli teenagers in the occupied West Bank last month.
The father of the abducted youth, Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir, 16, said the police had identified the body through DNA tests.
The discovery of the body came about an hour after Palestinians said an Arab teenager had been forced into a car in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina. Micky Rosenfeld, a police spokesman, said the police had erected roadblocks in the area to locate the vehicle. The body was discovered shortly afterward in a forest near the entrance to Jerusalem. Mr. Rosenfeld said the police were investigating both criminal and nationalistic motives for the killing.
Palestinian leaders held Israel responsible, while Israeli leaders called for restraint until the facts became clearer in an effort to calm the charged atmosphere.
Muhammad's relatives said he had left his father’s kitchenware and appliance store around 3:30 a.m. and was waiting for the dawn prayer that starts the daily fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The Israeli minister of internal security, Yitzhak Aharonovich, urged residents to “lower the volume” regarding the suspicion of a revenge attack by Jews. “There are attempts to make a connection between the two incidents and we are still checking all directions,” he said on Israel Radio. “There are many possibilities, criminal and nationalistic, and everything is being examined in a responsible manner.”
The body found in the forest was taken to Israel’s Abu Kabir Forensic Institute.Relatives of the abducted youth said he had left his father’s kitchenware and appliance store around 3:30 a.m. and was sitting on a wall outside the mosque with some other teenagers waiting for the dawn prayer that starts the daily fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Mahmoud Abu Khdeir, the imam of the mosque and a cousin, said the other youths left to get food for the traditional predawn meal when a gray Hyundai pulled up at 3:45 a.m. and its occupants forced Muhammad into the car.
“He was kidnapped and killed by the settlers, and the police know that very well,” the imam said. The police said they were reviewing footage from security cameras along the street; the imam said they have been used in the past to identify and arrest Palestinian stone-throwers. “They are trying to say that it is an honor killing, and this is categorically not true,” he said.
President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority has demanded that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel “condemn the kidnapping and killing” of Muhammad “as we condemned the kidnapping and killing” of the three Israeli teenagers, according to WAFA, the official Palestinian news agency. Nabil Abu Rudeineh, Mr. Abbas’s spokesman, called on Israel to arrest the abductors and hold them accountable, WAFA reported.
“The coming days, you can’t expect what will happen — the situation will get worse and worse,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, who works with the Palestine section of Defense for Children International. “The occupation and the cycle of violence should be ended to guarantee there is no further loss of life.”
Mr. Netanyahu spoke before noon with Mr. Aharonovich, the internal security minister, and requested that “investigators act as quickly as possible to find out who stands behind the despicable murder,” according to a statement from the prime minister’s office. Mr. Netanyahu called on all sides not to take the law into their own hands, saying, “Israel is a state of law and everybody is obligated to act according to the law.”
As news of the killing spread, the police increased their presence in Jerusalem. Clashes broke out between Palestinian youths and Israeli security forces along the main road that links the neighborhoods of Beit Hanina and Shuafat. Dozens of teenagers, some using slingshots, hurled stones at the security officers, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades. Shelters at stops along Jerusalem’s light rail line, which runs through Arab and Jewish neighborhoods, were smashed, and smoke from tires set ablaze hovered over the area. The police barred Jews from entering the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City to avoid rioting.
The mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, condemned the killing of the teenager in a statement. “This is a horrible and barbaric act which I strongly condemn,” he said. “This is not our way and I am fully confident that our security forces will bring the perpetrators to justice. I call on everyone to exercise restraint.” Yishai Fraenkel, the uncle of one of the three slain Israeli teenagers, told Ynet, a news site, “there is no difference between blood and blood.” “Murder is murder,” Mr. Fraenkel was quoted as saying. “Whatever the nationality or age are, there is no justification, no forgiveness or penance for any murder.”
Source: NYT