GAZA — Hamas warned Wednesday that Israel would pay for the suspected kidnap and murder of a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem, in possible revenge for the murder of three Israeli teens.
“We send our message to the Zionist entity and its leaders, which hold direct responsibility (for the murder), that our people will not let this crime pass, nor all the killings and destruction by your settlers,” the Islamist movement said.
“You will pay the price for these crimes,” it said of the incident, in which the Palestinian youth was reportedly kidnapped and killed early Wednesday.
The body of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, 16, was found in the Jerusalem Forest Wednesday morning. One possibility police are investigating is that he may have been kidnapped from East Jerusalem overnight and killed in a revenge attack for the killing of three Israeli teens.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The Times of Israel that officials were investigating the possibilities that Abu Khdeir was killed in a family honor killing or that it was a nationalistically motivated slaying.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a swift probe into the ‘abominable murder’ on Wednesday.
Israel blamed Hamas for abducting and killing the three Israelis, and waged a crushing arrest campaign against the movement’s West Bank network, which resulted in the deaths of several Palestinians.
Hamas in turn accused Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of “giving orders to settlers” to carry out Wednesday’s kidnap.
It was unclear who was behind the incident.
The murder triggered violent clashes in East Jerusalem, as Palestinians hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at riot police, who responded with rubber bullets, tear gas and sound bombs, injuring dozens of people.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.