The Palestinian Authority Attorney-General, Dr. Muhammed Abed al-Ghani al-Aweiwi, said Saturday that according to the preliminary findings of the autopsy of Palestinian teenager Muhammed Abu Khdeir, he was burned while still alive.
Aweiwi told Palestinian news agency Ma’an that Abu Khdeir sustained severe burns across 90% of his body, including his head, where he was also beaten.
The attorney general said flammable material was found in Abu Khdeir’s lungs and breathing passages, indicating he was still alive when his killer or killers set him on fire.
Aweiwi added that additional lab testings were needed and that the final autopsy report would be issued only after these tests were completed.
Palestinian pathologist Dr. Saber al-Alul took part in the autopsy carried out at the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute in Tel Aviv on Thursday.
Thousands of Palestinians, some firing weapons into the air, attended the Friday funeral of Abu Khdeir, whose body was found early Wednesday in a Jerusalem forest. Police investigators increasingly believe Abu Khdeir was murdered by Jewish terrorists in revenge for three Israeli teenagers kidnapped and murdered on June 12, but there has not been a definitive declaration to this effect.
Chanting “with our blood and our spirit we shall sacrifice for the martyr,” mourners carried the shrouded body of Abu Khdeir, 16, through Shuafat as flag-waving crowds thronged the narrow streets, before he was buried in a local cemetery.
“I hope your death brings victory to Palestine,” Abu Khdeir’s mother, Suha, said as her son was laid to rest. “May God burn the criminals who burned my son. I do not wish for any family to experience the sorrows that have come upon us.”
The teenager’s funeral coincided with the first Friday prayers of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. As it took place, riots broke out in several locations throughout the capital, with hundreds of Arab youths hurling stones and makeshift Molotov cocktails at police officers. Masked protesters hurled rocks at police near the site of the funeral as well. Police blocked all the roads leading from East Jerusalem neighborhood’s to the city’s western half for several hours.
In anticipation of unrest Friday, Border Police in the city had increased their preparedness in Jerusalem, bringing in reinforcements, and limiting access to the Temple Mount to Muslim men 50 years and over, as well as all women.
Just 8,000 worshipers joined the weekly prayers there, police spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP. Many apparently stayed away fearing clashes with police. On the same day last year police reported a crowd of 80,000.
The police precautions came after two days of clashes between East Jerusalem residents and Border Police officers as tensions escalated sharply surrounding Israeli calls for revenge against Arabs for the killing of the three teens — Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel and Gil-ad Shaar on June 12; their bodies were found north of Hebron on June 30.
Police officials told The Times of Israel they were continuing to investigate whether Abu Khdeir was murdered in a family honor killing, or if it was a nationalistically motivated slaying. According to officials familiar with the case, investigators increasingly view the killing as a revenge attack perpetrated by Jewish terrorists.