Shin Bet reveals details of Abu Khdeir killing

The Shin Bet reveals the details of its investigation into the murder of Muhammed Abu Khdeir.

After a nearly two-week investigation following the murder on the morning of July 2, and seven arrests in the case, investigators have obtained confessions from the three alleged perpetrators of the murder, the organization says in a statement.

The three suspects are related. One is an adult, aged 30, while the other two are minors. All are residents of Jerusalem or nearby communities.

All three confessed to the brutal crime, which included kidnapping, assault and the setting on fire — apparently while he was still alive — of Abu Khdeir, 16.

According to the suspects’ testimonies, the motive for the crime was revenge for the murders of three Jewish teenagers in June in the West Bank by a Hamas-affiliated cell, along with other terror attacks on Jews.

The suspects chose the victim randomly, investigators have concluded, and did not know Abu Khdeir.

The investigation has also confirmed Palestinian claims that Abu Khdeir’s kidnapping followed the attempted kidnapping of an eight-year-old Palestinian boy the night before, at around 1 a.m., by two of the three suspects. That kidnapping was prevented, investigators have concluded (again, in keeping with Palestinian reports), by the boy’s mother chasing away the attackers.

The two suspects left the scene of the attempted kidnapping and tried to set cars on fire in East Jerusalem that they believed belonged to Arabs.

The following night, at about 3:48 a.m., after hours of driving around Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, the suspects saw Abu Khdeir and decided to kidnap and murder him.

They nabbed him off the street, drove to the Jerusalem Forest and pulled him out of the car, the Shin Bet says. The adult suspect then allegedly hit the Palestinian youth in the head multiple times with a tire iron, and set him on fire with the aid of one of the minors.

According to investigators, the three spent the following few days attempting to destroy evidence of the crime.

Four other people were arrested in the case, all of them relatives of the suspects, but were released when investigators ruled out any possibility that they were involved in the crime.

One of the four told investigators that he knew about the crime after it had taken place.

The case has been under a gag order imposed by the Petah Tikvah District Court. The gag order is lifted on all details of the investigation except the suspects’ identities, which are still secret in order to prevent additional rounds of revenge attacks, this time against the suspects’ families.

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