The body of a murdered Palestinian youth was discovered in a Yerushalayim forest Wednesday.
Israeli police say they do not know who killed him. Police said the investigation would cover all possibilities, including that the killing may have been in retribution for the killing of the Israeli teens.
The Palestinians, meanwhile, accused Israel. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accused extremist Israelis of “killing and burning a little boy” and demanded Israel “hold the killers accountable.”
Arab MKs from UAL-Ta’al blamed “calls for revenge” for inciting the murder.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in a statement, urged police to “to swiftly investigate who was behind the loathsome murder and its motive.” He cautioned all sides “not to take the law into their own hands.”
The political security cabinet was set to convene on Wednesday evening for the third time in three days, to discuss the escalating tensions in the capital and how to proceed in its response to the kidnapping of the three teens.
The parents of Naftali Frankel, one of the murdered Israeli teens buried on Tuesday, issued a statement saying it would be “horrifying and despicable” if the Arab youth was killed due to nationalistic motives to avenge the three murdered yeshivah students.”
Israeli Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said it was too early to draw conclusions about the crime.
“We know of a boy who apparently was abducted and we see a link to the discovery of a body. This is still under investigation by the forensic labs and detectives,” Aharonovitch told reporters.
On Tuesday night, scores of Israeli right-wing protesters angrily protested in downtown Yerushalayim, demanding revenge for the murder of yeshivah students Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Frankel Hy”d.
Several Palestinans were attacked in the disorders and more than 50 people were arrested.
On Wednesday, Jewish Home MK Orit Struck rejected statements made by several leftist MKs claiming the murder was an act of “revenge.”
Struck called the allegations not only “immoral, but it shows a lack of intelligence. One shouldn’t run to speak when the facts aren’t clear and the police didn’t say anything.”
She stressed that she is against murder no matter who perpetrates it and who the victim is.
“There is no option where I would present murder as a legitimate response to the kidnapping and murder [of three Israeli teens] and I don’t think you’ll find a Jewish MK who would, unlike Arab MKs, who already legitimized murder, unfortunately and embarrassingly,” Struck added.
No Israeli minister has called for taking revenge on the Arab population, though some have been advocating taking a stronger hand with Hamas.
By evening, condemnations of the killing had been issued by the U.S., Britain and Europe.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned “in the strongest possible terms the despicable and senseless abduction and murder” of Abu Khdeir. “It is sickening to think of an innocent 17-year-old boy snatched off the streets and his life stolen from him and his family. There are no words to convey adequately our condolences to the Palestinian people.”
British Premier David Cameron and his Foreign Secretary William Hague both said they were appalled by the murder.
Quartet envoy Tony Blair issued a statement saying there “is no possible justification for such an horrendous act — and the perpetrators must be found swiftly and brought to justice. Extremists must not be allowed to exploit the events of the last weeks to spark a further escalation in violence.”