Itongadol.- A day after slain Israeli teens Gil-ad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach were laid to rest, Jewish-Arab tensions are flaring. Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, the government is weighing further responses to the killings. Stay with The Times of Israel for live coverage throughout the day.
Netanyahu condemns abominable murder of Arab teenager
Abbas spokesman heaps blame for teen’s death on Israel
After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heeds Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s call to condemn the killing of Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir, Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina issues a separate statement explicitly blaming the 16-year-old’s death on Israel.
“Israel is fully responsible for the killing of the teenager and we demand that the perpetrators be found and held accountable,” he says.
Livni: I hope Abu Khdeir’s death ‘not an act of vengeance’
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni says she hopes the death of the Palestinian youth whose body was found in the Jerusalem Forest this morning was “not an act of vengeance,” adding that the circumstances of his death are still unclear.
She posts on her Facebook page that despite mounting reports of “price tag” attacks and hatred, Israel is still “a lawful state and not a terrorist society.” She vows that the “murderers” of the Israeli teens will be “found and brought to justice” through its legal mechanisms.
“Israel is a lawful state that knows how to strike its enemies without mercy,” she says.
IDF troops leave site where teens’ bodies found
The IDF troops who located the bodies of Gil-ad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach in Halhul, north of Hebron, have left the site.
Locals tell The Times of Israel that Israeli security forces only began to search the area one day before the bodies were found, adding that the land belongs to the family of one of the suspected killers, Marwan Kawasme.
Meanwhile, military forces continue their search for Kawasme and his suspected accomplice, Amer Abu Aysha.
Debris left by IDF cleared from Kawasme home
Hebron municipal workers are clearing the debris left behind by IDF forces in the home of Marwan Kawasme, one of the two Palestinians suspected of kidnapping and killing the three Israeli students.
The workers are working to clear the part of the family home that was bombed during an IDF search of the house two days ago.
This afternoon, the mother of Amer Abu Aysha, Kawasme’s suspected accomplice, tells Walla that her son hasn’t contacted her since the day of the kidnapping. She says that he left his mobile phone at home, but that it was confiscated by Israeli intelligence forces.
Earlier today, the Abu Aysha family’s car was taken from their home, which was also damaged during an IDF search operation two days ago.
– Avi Issacharoff
Mashaal denies Hamas responsible for teens’ deaths
Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal denies that the organization is responsible for killing the three Israeli youths in the West Bank.
Sky News in Arabic quotes Mashaal as saying that Hamas is not interested in an escalation and is committed to a truce with Israel. He also asks Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to prevent a possible Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip.
Abbas demands Netanyahu condemn ‘kidnapping, murder’
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas demands that Israel condemn the killing of an East Jerusalem teenager in a suspected revenge attack for the killing of three Israeli youths.
Abbas “demanded that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemn the kidnapping and murder of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir as we condemned the kidnapping of the three Israelis,” a presidential statement says.
The demand comes as Netanyahu issues a condemnation of the “abominable murder” while calling on police to find the perpetrators.
Netanyahu to police: Find out who’s behind ‘abominable murder’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, asking that the police expedite the investigation into the “abominable murder” of the Arab teenager who was killed overnight in Jerusalem.
Netanyahu calls on all sides not to take the law into their own hands. “Israel is a state of law and everyone needs conduct themselves according to the law,” he says.