The three prime suspects in the killing of Palestinian teenager Muhammed Abu Khdeir have confessed to the crime and reenacted it, police said on Monday.
Investigators brought the three, all of whom are Jewish, to the spot in the Jerusalem Forest where Khdeir’s beaten and burned body was found last week.
Three others are being held on suspicion that they were complicit in the attack. Several of the suspects are minors.
Remand for the suspects has been extended and they have not been permitted to meet with their defense lawyers.
Although the suspects are not members of any known terrorist group and apparently acted on their own, they are to face charges of belonging to a terrorist organization, membership in a prohibited organization, kidnapping in order to murder, murder of a minor, conspiracy and theft, possession of arms and ammunition, and carrying out a racially motivated crime.
The mother of one of the suspects told Ynet that she believed her son is innocent.
“We are broken and are having a very difficult time with this business,” she said. “My son has nothing to do with it and will be released.
“It’s crazy,” she added. “He’s only 16.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Hussein Abu Khdeir, the father of the Arab teenager, Monday.
“I would like to express my outrage and that of the citizens of Israel over the reprehensible murder of your son,” Netanyahu said, according to a statement.
“We acted immediately to apprehend the murderers. We will bring them to trial and they will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law. We denounce all brutal behavior; the murder of your son is abhorrent and cannot be countenanced by any human being.”
Police suspect that the abduction and killing of Khdeir was premeditated and carried out in revenge for the kidnapping and slaying of three Israeli teenagers on June 12.
Naftali Fraenkel, 16, Eyal Yifrach, 19, and Gil-ad Shaar, 16, were abducted and killed in the West Bank. Their bodies were uncovered in Halhul, near Hebron, last Monday after an 18-day search. Israel believes Hamas members Marwan Kawasme and Amer Abu Aysha, both from Hebron, are responsible, though the terror group denied its involvement and the two have yet to be apprehended.
Hours after the three were laid to rest last Tuesday afternoon, Abu Khdeir was snatched and burned to death. The discovery of his charred body in the forest last week set off rioting in East Jerusalem and elsewhere in the country.
The six suspects in his killing suspects are from Beit Shemesh, Jerusalem and the settlement of Adam, police said. An autopsy revealed that he was burned to death.
Prior to Abu Khdeir’s kidnapping and murder, three of the suspects scouted out the area of the abduction in East Jerusalem and allegedly attempted unsuccessfully to kidnap an Arab child, later named as 9-year-old Musa Zalum.
A gag order on many of the details was still in place on Monday morning. A press conference on the arrests scheduled for 5 p.m. Sunday was canceled at the last moment.
Video images showing the faces of two of the suspected kidnappers and murderers of Abu Khdeir were uploaded to YouTube earlier Sunday.
The footage came from a security camera that had been stationed on a building owned by Abu Khdeir’s father, Hussein, and was recorded on a mobile phone during a police investigation.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.