Police prepared in large numbers Thursday for what could be a restive weekend as Arabs in Jerusalem commemorate the one year anniversary of the death of Mohammed Abu Khder. The youth, 16, was kidnapped from eastern Jerusalem on July 2 and burned to death. Three Jews – a 29 year old and two 16 year olds – have been indicted on charges of murdering the youth, in revenge for the kidnapping and murder of three Jewish teenagers by Hamas terrorists.
Arabs were out in force Thursday night in the Shua'fat neighborhood of Jerusalem, where Abu Khder lived. A procession was held from the family's home to Abu Khder's grave. While the procession was relatively orderly, several members of the crowd shouted catcalls at police, and said that they demanded “a third intifada.”
Police have been ordered to hold back and interfere only in the event of a major disruption. Airborne cameras are photographing and recording the event in high resolution.
Speaking earlier to Yediot Aharonot, the youth's father, Hussein Abu Khder, said that he opposed violence as a commemoration of his son's memory. “They burned Mohammed once, but my wife and I are 'burned' every day. Even animals don't do that. The criminals who did this have no heart and no conscience.”
The three Israeli youths face separate charges over the attempted kidnapping of another Palestinian, aged seven, from the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, as well as alleged arson attacks on Palestinian-owned cars. Two of them are also accused of setting alight a Palestinian shop in the town of Hizme.
Police suspect that the crime was nationalistically motivated, allegedly as a "revenge crime" for the murders of Israeli teens Naftali Frenkel (16), Gilad Sha'ar (16), and Eyal Yifrah (19).