Palestinian boy, 16, was burned to death

Image taken from amateur video obtained from Palestine shows Israeli soldiers beating Tariq Abu Khdeir, 15, a U.S. citizen. Picture:AP
Image taken from amateur video obtained from Palestine shows Israeli soldiers beating Tariq Abu Khdeir, 15, a U.S. citizen. Picture:AP
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A TEENAGER, who Palestinians allege was murdered by ­Israeli extremists in a revenge attack, was burned to death, a post-mortem examination has found.

The initial results came as clashes fuelled by anger over the killing of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, spread into Arab Israeli towns.

Khdeir, from east Jerusalem, suffered burns to 90 per cent of his body, which was discovered on Wednesday.

“The results show he was breathing while on fire and died from burns and their consequences,” said Palestinian attorney general Abdelghani al-Owaiwi.

Tensions also remained high on Israel’s reinforced southern border with the Gaza Strip.

Gaza militants fired at least ten rockets at Israel, injuring a soldier lightly and causing some damage to infrastructure, the military said.

In return it had launched several air strikes in Gaza overnight against sites used by the militant group Hamas.

Khdeir’s charred body was found in a forest after he was seized near his home in east Jerusalem.

Palestinians immediately accused Israeli extremists of killing him to avenge the deaths of three Israeli teenagers who had been abducted and killed in the West Bank.

Israeli police said an investigation is still under way and they have not yet determined who killed Khdeir or why. The post-mortem was carried out by Israeli medics in Tel Aviv.

Israeli leaders have ­condemned his murder, and prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed those responsible will be brought to justice.

Palestinians took to the streets in protests after news of the Khdeir’s death on Wednesday and clashed with police in east Jerusalem. Riots erupted there yesterday as thousands of Palestinians massed for his burial, many shouting “Intifada” (uprising).

The violence spread to Arab towns in northern Israel early yesterday, with protesters throwing stones at cars, burning tyres and lobbing rocks and firebombs at police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades, Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.

Near the town of Qalansawe, protesters pulled over a car driven by an Israeli Jew, pulled him out and set the vehicle on fire, she said. The driver was unhurt.

More than 20 people were arrested before the unrest ­subsided in the afternoon, she said.

Israeli Arabs, unlike Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, hold citizenship rights. But they face discrimination and identify with the Palestinians.

Palestinian protesters in Jerusalem also used an electric saw to damage the light rail that connects the mainly Arab populated eastern sector of the city with the mainly Jewish west, Samri said.

The chaos began after three Israeli teenagers, one of whom was an American citizen, were abducted in the West Bank on 12 June, sparking a search that ended with the discovery of their bodies last week. At least five Palestinians were killed during the search operation.

In a separate incident, relatives said Khdeir’s 15-year-old cousin Tariq – also an American citizen who goes to school in Florida – was beaten by police during clashes on Thursday ahead of the funeral.

Footage emerged purporting to show the savage beating.

His parents, Suha and Salah, said Tariq was detained but had been treated at an Israeli hospital.

Israeli police said Tariq had resisted arrest.

He was detained with a slingshot in his possession used to hurl stones at police, along with six other protesters, including some armed with knives, police said, adding that several officers were hurt.

Tariq’s father said he witnessed his son’s arrest and insisted the boy was not involved in the violence.

Israel launched a massive crackdown on the Islamist militant group Hamas after the abduction of the Israeli teenagers, while retaliatory Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli air strikes intensified.

The military claims Palestinian militants have fired more than 150 rockets at southern Israel, and it has responded with air strikes on more than 70 targets in Gaza.