Palestinian teen's funeral sparks clashes

 

Tensions remained high in Jerusalem on Friday during a funeral for an Arab teenager who Palestinians say was killed by Israeli extremists in a revenge attack.

Hundreds of rock-throwing, masked Palestinians clashed with Israeli police as an ambulance carrying the body of 16-year-old Palestinian Mohammad Abu Khieder headed toward a mosque in the east Jerusalem neighborhood where he lived, The Associated Press reported. 

More than 2,000 people attended the funeral, according to reports. 

The teenager’s body was found Wednesday morning, burned beyond recognition, in what Palestinians say is revenge for the killings of three Israeli teenage boys abducted and killed last month.

On June 12, three Israeli teenagers, including one with U.S. citizenship, were abducted in the West Bank. They were found dead early this week.

Israel blamed Hamas for the abduction and murder of the teens.

Meanwhile on Friday, Palestinian militants fired rockets and mortars from the Gaza Strip into Israel. 

Israel answered the barrage with several airstrikes on what it described as "Hamas terror targets" in Gaza. 

Police also clashed with hundreds of Palestinian protesters in other neighborhoods in the eastern part of the city, which have been in chaos since Abu Khdeir's body was found.

Police had ramped up security in and around Jerusalem for the funeral, which coincided with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Hamas, which has abducted Israelis in the past, praised the kidnapping of the teenagers but did not take responsibility.

Israeli police said they have not yet determined who killed Abu Khdeir or why.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was among those Israeli leaders who condemned the violence while urging both sides “not to take the law into your own hands” and promising to “uncover quickly who is behind this despicable murder and what motivated it.”

Separately, four Israeli police officers were dismissed this week for ignoring a June 12 call from Gilad Shaar saying he’d been kidnapped with sounds of cheering and singing in the background.