July 6, 2014 -- New York -- AJC commended Israeli authorities for apprehending the suspects in the brutal murder of Muhammed Abu Khieder, while expressing shock and dismay about those who perpetrated such a heinous crime against a Palestinian youth.
“That several Israelis are believed to be involved in this murder is despicable and shameful,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “By taking the life of a young Palestinian as an apparent act of revenge, they have desecrated God’s name and, at the same time, done nothing to ease the immense suffering of all those who mourn the tragic murder of the three Israeli teenagers. By seeking to take the law into their own hands, they have undermined the authority of the state. And by the very nature of their crime, if convicted, they deserve the harshest possible prison sentence. No citizen in a democratic country, and Israel laudably is just such a country, is above the law. As Prime Minister Netanyahu has repeatedly said, Israel has the capacity and will to defend itself. It cannot and will not condone those who wish to live by the law of the jungle.”
Abu Khieder was abducted last week from the Jerusalem neighborhood where his family lives and reportedly was burned alive by his abductors. Two days earlier, the bodies of three Israeli Jews -- Naftali Fraenkal, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach -- were found, after an 18-day search, near Hebron, having been kidnapped and killed by Palestinian supporters of Hamas.