Muhammad Abu Khdeir’s relatives charged with attacking cop
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Muhammad Abu Khdeir’s relatives charged with attacking cop

Two men accused of committing mulitple offenses, including rock-throwing, after shocking 2014 murder

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

Muhammad Abu Khdeir, seen in a photo provided by his family. (Courtesy)
Muhammad Abu Khdeir, seen in a photo provided by his family. (Courtesy)

Two relatives of a Palestinian youth murdered two years ago were charged Sunday with a laundry list of crimes, including attempted assault of police officers, throwing rocks at cars, public disturbance, arson and discharging a weapon in a residential area.

Muhammad and Nasser Abu Khdeir, 21 and 19, respectively, of the Shuafat neighborhood in East Jerusalem, were indicted at the Jerusalem District Court for the alleged crimes said to have been perpetrated two summers ago, after their relative was murdered by Israeli extremists.

Prosecutors requested that the two be held until the end of proceedings.

Muhammed Abu Khdeir was abducted and killed in East Jerusalem on July 1, 2014, by three Israeli attackers. An autopsy found that the 16-year-old had been burned alive.

The Jerusalem District Court handed down a life sentence, plus 20 years in jail, to Yosef Ben David, found to be the ringleader of the group that murdered Abu Khdeir. The two other killers — both minors — were sentenced to life in prison and 21 years, respectively.

Police escort Yosef Ben David (in green), one of the Jewish suspects in the murder of Muhammed Abu Khdeir, in the Jerusalem District Court on June 8, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Police escort Yosef Ben David (in green), one of the Jewish suspects in the murder of Muhammed Abu Khdeir, in the Jerusalem District Court on June 8, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

They said they had killed Abu Khdeir as revenge over the killing the previous month of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas terrorists in the West Bank, an episode that was one of the main catalysts of the war that summer between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Another relative of Abu Khdeir, Tariq Abu Khdeir, 15, was arrested in the wake of the killing. While police asserted that he was armed with a slingshot and was actively participating in a riot, he and his family denied direct involvement. The teen, an American citizen who was visiting Jerusalem when his cousin was killed, was placed under house arrest for nine days before he was allowed to return home to the Florida.

Amateur footage revealed that Tariq was severely beaten by an Israeli police officer during his arrest.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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