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Autopsy: Murdered Palestinian Boy Burned Alive

Mohamed Abu Khdeir was kidnapped by suspected Israeli settler extremists and murdered two days ago in revenge for the killings of three Israeli youths in the West Bank.  Today, the Palestinian pathologist who participated in the autopsy declared he found smoke in Mohamed’s lungs, meaning he was still breathing and alive when he was set on fire.  The finding was that he died by burning.

This particular death in all its horror shows the cold, vicious brutality that is at the heart of today’s Israel.  Those who run the country and their policies represent hate and murder and little else.  But I don’t want this post to focus on the nihilism of that Israel.

Immolation is a righteous form of martyrdom in Jewish tradition.  Rabbi Hanina ben Teradion, tradition tells us, was murdered by the Romans for teaching Torah in violation of an edict.  His punishment was to be wrapped in a sacred Torah scroll and burnt alive. The devilishly clever Romans soaked wool in water and covered his heart to prolong his agony. The trick didn’t work since, with his dying breath, he told his students in wonder that he saw the letters of the scroll flying up to heaven.

This is a death that sanctifies God’s name.  One of which almost every Jews who knows the story feels proud.  Both Palestinian and Jewish traditions accord great respect to martyrdom.  While some may quarrel with the term shahid when used in connection with a suicide bombing, there can be no doubt that the murder of this young boy is a profound case of martyrdom.

Recall also the story of Joan of Arc.  Her burning at the stake at the hands of English forces helped rally the disorganized, demoralized French troops to throw the English out of France for good.

So those evil villains who murdered Mohamed picked the worst sort of death for him.  They thought burning him alive would send a signal of hate to Palestinians.  After all, what can more mutilate a body than the disfigurement of burning?  But rather his death and the means with which it was carried out, have brought him and his cause great nobility.  I only hope Palestinians will not squander this by resorting to further acts of murder of Israeli civilians.

The Fraenkel family too showed great nobility in their own mourning for their murdered son when they called for an end to the blood vengeance.  Unfortunately, these Israeli killers flouted the words of the grieving mother.  They brought shame to their cause and showed it to be at heart bestial, racist and cruel.  Unfortunately, a good deal of that emotion is sloughs off on Israel itself, the “home” (though not literally since they likely live in occupied Palestine) of these killers.

It’s reported that Palestinian eyewitnesses took down the license plate of the getaway vehicle.  They also have videotape of the actual abduction.  Israel knew within two days of the Hebron kidnapping the identity of the suspected kidnappers.  I’m willing to bet the Shabak knows who killed Mohamed.  Every day they do not catch them is another day of shame for Israel.

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Oui July 5, 2014, 3:37 AM

    Earlier reporting, it seems the illegal Pisgat Zeev settlement in East Jerusalem is the center of criminal acts:

    Group of settlers assaults two Palestinians in East Jerusalem – Jan. 25, 2014

    A group of Israeli settlers cornered and assaulted two young Palestinian men from the Beit Hanina neighborhood of Jerusalem as they drove past the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Pisgat Zeev. A family member told Ma’an that a group of settlers armed with clubs blocked their vehicle and attacked 18-year-old Yazan Hani Ramadan and 18-year-old Majd Zaki Ramadan as they were driving just before midnight. As they passed a mall near the Pisgat Zeev settlement in East Jerusalem, a vehicle obstructed their car and two other vehicles closed their way from behind. Fifteen settlers then stepped out and started to beat the two young Palestinians.

    Locals: Settlers try to kidnap 7-year-old in Beit Hanina – July 3, 2014

    (Ma’an News) – Israeli settlers attempted to kidnap a seven-year-old Palestinian child in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina overnight Thursday, locals said. Witnesses told Ma’an that four settlers from Pisgat Zeev tried to kidnap Muhammad Ali al-Kiswani while he was playing in the neighborhood late Thursday after breaking the Ramadan fast. Children in the area alerted family members, who thwarted the attack, according to witnesses. The settlers fled on foot, locals said.

    Earlier, two settlers attempted to kidnap Mousa Zalloum, 10, in Beit Hanina, locals said. The kidnapping was reportedly thwarted by the boy’s mother and local residents.

  • Shmuel July 5, 2014, 3:40 AM

    Maybe with yr Palestinian and high ranking Israeli contacts you could publicize the number of the vehicle that was recorded and trace it to its owner?
    It would help clear up the speculation and prevent some of the hatemongering?

    • Richard Silverstein July 5, 2014, 12:47 PM

      @ Shmuel: I don’t have contacts inside the police force, which knows the license number. Nor do I know the family of the victim or the witnesses. But it is a good idea & I’ll try to pursue it.

  • Oui July 5, 2014, 7:38 AM

    Sphere of lynchings, beatings and abductions in Israel Major, East-Jerusalem and OPT

    After funeral, reports spread of other possible abductions

    Israel holds US boy without charge after police nearly beat him to death
    Palestinian-American Tariq Abukhdeir, cousin of recent lynching victim Muhammed Abu Khudair, was brutally beaten by masked Israeli police on Thursday evening in the Shu‘afat neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem. He has since been arrested and held without charge and denied medical treatment, according to his family and the rights group Addameer. Tariq’s family lives in Tampa, Florida and have been on vacation in Palestine since early June. They are scheduled to return to the United States on 16 July. Tariq’s next court hearing is scheduled for Sunday, 6 July. As photos of Tariq’s horrific facial bruises surfaced, so did two videos that show masked Israeli officers punching, kicking and dragging a handcuffed Palestinian in Shuafat.

    Tel Aviv: Israeli Jews attack Palestinian on public bus – Video

    The video shows a Palestinian man (wearing a baseball cap), presumably a citizen of Israel. Three men in military uniform (they are not combat soldiers, but probably employees of the ministry of defense— i.e., bureaucrats) form a human barrier between the Palestinian man and a group of Jewish-Israeli men. The man in the white shirt is shouting, “Filthy Arabs!”; ”Filthy Arab murderers of children!”; “I’ll take your heads off!”; “Fuck your mothers!”; “This is our country and not yours!”

  • Deïr Yassin July 5, 2014, 8:04 AM

    “Dr. Mohsen Abukhdeir said that Muhammad’s father, Hussein Abu Khudair, was questioned at the Russian Compound police station in Jerusalem from 6am to 4pm on Thursday and pressured by police to agree to “lies that the police invented” that Muhammad was killed in a “family dispute.” ”
    ElectronicIntifada: Israel attempting cover-up over Jerusalem teens killing, father says.

    And the images of uniformed thugs beating up a hand-cuffed Palestinian turns out to be 15-years old Tariq Abu Khdeir from Tampa, Florida on summer vacation in his homeland. Tariq is the cousin of Martyr Muhammad Abu Khdeir.
    Article with the images of the beating in case someone didn’t see it yet, and photos of Tariq before and after the Light-Upon-Nations illuminated his face….

    What has happened these last days has made the author Sayed Kashua decide to leave the State of Israel not only for a year as scheduled but maybe for good. He doesn’t believe in Jewish-Arab co-existence any longer. His latest article is a must for everyone: particularly when he explains to his daughter what his own father said to him when he was a teenager, and she answers that she’s already figured that out on her own.
    The original in Haaretz, July fourth: justpaste.it/g3is

  • Oui July 5, 2014, 8:22 AM

    Report of Beating Incident in Shuafat Fiited for US Public …

    (AP) – In a separate incident, relatives said that Abu Khdeir’s 15-year-old cousin Tariq, a U.S. citizen who goes to school in Florida, was beaten by police during clashes ahead of the funeral. The U.S. Consulate had no immediate comment on the report.

    His parents, Suha and Salah, said Tariq was detained but had been treated at an Israeli hospital.

    Luba Samri, the Israeli police spokeswoman, said that Tariq Abu Khdeir had resisted arrest and attacked police officers. He was detained with a slingshot used to fire stones at police, along with six other protesters, including some armed with knives, she said, adding that several officers were hurt in that specific protest, one of many that day.

    Tariq’s father said he witnessed his son’s arrest and insisted the boy was not involved in the violence. [see earlier video of beating and an unresponsive Tariq dragged away by three Israeli Border Guards]

    Netanyahu to settlers: I’m fighting for you, but there are international constraints – May 29, 2014

    • Oui July 5, 2014, 1:55 PM

      Justice Ministry opening probe into alleged police beating of Arab-American teen

      (JPost) – Unverified video purportedly shows police assaulting 15-year-old cousin of murdered Palestinian teen.

      A video being circulated by human rights groups allegedly shows two Israeli police officers kicking and beating the high school student. Palestinian media published photos depicting a boy with a badly bruised face, whom they claim is Khdeir.

      The director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Tampa told a local Florida television station that the video shows security forces “stomping on his face,” and that Khdeir had been detained in Jerusalem following his participation in riot.

      Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld was quoted by The New York Times as saying that the footage was “edited and biased,” and that it “did not represent the scope of events.”

  • Dcdoc1 July 5, 2014, 9:55 AM

    “( ) brought shame to their cause and showed it to be at heart bestial, racist and cruel.”

    Does that apply with equal force to those who kidnapped the three Israeli teenagers as to those who kidnapped the Palestinian teenager? If not, why not? (And btw, what exactly are those respective causes?)

    • Elisabeth July 5, 2014, 10:25 AM

      If you follow this blog a bit better and read some of the older posts you would not need to ask such stupid and unnecessary questions.

      • Oui July 5, 2014, 11:11 AM

        I am “anonymous 2” who asked you to answer a number of questions about the “country” you say the Zionists wiped “off the map” …

      • Dcdoc1 July 5, 2014, 6:23 PM

        A simple “yes” or “no” without any qualifications would do the trick as to whether the comment applied equally. And, then it would be helpful to have RS say what exactly he sees as the cause(s) of the murderers, who have made no statements so far.

        If you want to attempt the answers on RS’s behalf or can point to those previous posts by him that provide unequivocal ones, feel free to,do so.

    • Richard Silverstein July 5, 2014, 9:08 PM

      @ Dcdoc1: Why should Elisabeth answer you with a simple “yes or no” answer. My responses to this question which have been repeated scores of times in posts & my own comments here make clear the answer. It would require you to do some reading here & research. But it wouldn’t be hard to find the answer. But if you want to be lazy the answer is that I condemn the killing of civilians on both sides. I’ve called for war crimes charges to be brought against both Israeli & Palestinians who’ve violated international law. But again, that’s been written here many, many times.

      what exactly are those respective causes

      You can’t be serious. You expect me to outline for you the Palestinian and Israeli “causes?” Really? What do you think my entire blog is? I’d say along with Rabbi Hillel, who was asked to distill the entire Torah into one phrase (by a questioner similar to you): After the giving the short answer, Hillel said: “the rest is commentary, now go and study.” Do some “studying” here before asking your next question.

  • Mary Hughes Thompson July 5, 2014, 7:22 PM

    Will the family homes of the suspected settler thugs be blown up, do you suppose? I mean if they know their identities why wait? The didn’t waste time blowing up the homes of the two suspected killers of the 3 Jewish teens, and without a shred of evidence they were implicated in the crime. No eye witnesses, no videos of the kidnapping, no photos of the car or license plate # And why haven’t they already arrested or at least interrogated the parents of the settlers suspected of lynching Mohammad?

  • Dcdoc1 July 6, 2014, 12:30 PM

    I have read a great many of your posts over the years and don’t recall ever seeing you call out Palestinians (e.g., Arafat, Abbas, Haniyeh, Meshaal, Mabhouh, etc.) as “war criminals” or the like, though you regularly and loudly make such accusations against Netanyahu, member of the IDF, and other Israelis. If you have identified individual Palestinians as “war criminals,” please point us to just some of the posts in which you have done so.

    As for “causes,” the Palestinians accused of kidnapping the Israeli teens are said to be from the Hamas camp. Hamas is unequivocally commited to putting an end to Israel, so is that the “cause” the Palestinian kidnappers/murderers have damaged? As for the Israeli kidnappers/murderers, we don’t know anything about them yet. They may not champion any well-defined “cause” other than an-eye-for-an-eye vengeance or they may be the most vicious of Israeli ultra-nationalists committed to terrorizing the Palestinians. Whatever their “cause,” we haven’t seen the Israeli public approving of them and their murderous conduct.

    • Oui July 6, 2014, 1:15 PM

      One of six Jewish nationalists arrested confesses to revenge killing of Arab teen

      (JPost) – One of the six unidentified Jewish extremists arrested early Sunday morning in the brutal murder confessed to the crime. According to Channel 2, one of the suspects was cooperating with police and has incriminated his accomplices.

      According to numerous sources, the unidentified suspects made the confession during questioning by Shin Bet security agents. While details of the arrests and investigation remain largely unknown due to a court-sanctioned gag order, hours after their arrests a Petah Tikva court ruled that five of the suspects be held for an additional eight days and the sixth for an additional five days. All the defendants are being barred from legal representation.

      Following the arrests, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch condemned the suspects.

      You must ge aware of the incitement to hatred and violence these past months and weeks by PM Netanyahu, minister Bennett and FM Liberman. In recent days central Jerusalem has seen lynch mobs roaming the streets shouting derogatory slogans, urgimg violence and “Death to the Arabs.”

      Via BooMan – Israel Exacerbating Settler Violence with Gag Orders and former Shin Bet chief Diskin place the blame where it belongs: delusional government brought us to this security deterioration.

      • Oui July 6, 2014, 1:43 PM

        Is as reply to DcDoc1 @12:30pm

  • Oui July 6, 2014, 1:41 PM

    I very much doubt you read the articles with comprehension and the comments. There is no evidence Hamas in specific was behind it.

    ○ Since January of 2009, Israelis have killed 575 Palestinians, while Palestinians have killed 28 Israelis.

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