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July 2, 2014 6:09 pm

Israel Police Weighing Clan, Criminal and Family Motives in Death of Arab Youth

avatar by Dave Bender

16-year-old murder victim Muhammad Abu Khudair. Photo: Twitter.

Investigators into the circumstances surrounding the death of a 16-year-old Jerusalem Arab youth overnight Wednesday are not ruling out criminal and family disputes, an Israel Police spokesman told The Algemeiner.

“We’re looking into a number of different directions,” Mickey Rosenfeld said of the death of Muhammed Abu Knudair.

“There’s the possibility that the background to the incident is criminal,” as well as a family-related issue, according to Rosenfeld.

“Police are continuing to look for suspects as well as the vehicle that fled the scene,” he noted, but added that none had been detained.

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“Police forensics teams are examining the body in the forest to search for evidence of who may have done this,” Rosenfeld told reporters earlier in the day.

Some reporters suggested that the youth may have been killed for impugning family honor, reportedly due to sexual preferences, or over intra-family rivalries.

A reporter for Channel 2 News said police told him that, two days earlier, Abu Khudair’s parents alerted police that unknown men had tried to abduct a younger, nine-year-old brother.

While the mother claimed to officers that Jews tried to kidnap the child, the father came up to them and corrected her, asserting that Arab men were the abductors. He told police that he would come in to give testimony, but police said he never showed up.

A retired local police official familiar with the family in question told Israel National News that “it’s a problematic family with internal clashes that have been ongoing for many years.

“I have no doubt that as time passes it will be clarified that the murder was criminal and nothing more,” he said.

The youth’s family called police when an eyewitness reported seeing several individuals force the youth into a vehicle near adjacent Beit Hanina, while on his way to morning prayers at a local mosque.

Later in the day, rioters hurled several pipe bombs, fire bombs and stones at police, Israel Radio said; rioters also torched ticket machines at at least two light rail stops which pass through the neighborhood.

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