Hamas: Israel ‘to pay’ after murder of teen

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry described killing of Palestinian teen as ‘despicable’ and ‘sickening’

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Hamas threated that Israel would pay for the kidnap and murder of a Palestinian teenager in annexed east Jerusalem, in suspected revenge for the murder of three Israeli teens.

“We send our message to the Zionist entity and its leaders, which hold direct responsibility (for the murder), that our people will not let this crime pass, nor all the killings and destruction by your settlers,” the Islamist movement said.

“You will pay the price for these crimes.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday also condemned “the strongest possible terms the despicable and senseless abduction and murder of Muhammad Hussein 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,” Kerry said, adding “there are no words to convey adequately our condolences to the Palestinian people.”

Police had been notified that a youth was “pulled into a vehicle and possibly kidnapped,” Micky Rosenfeld, an Israeli police spokesman said, adding that roadblocks were set up in search of suspects.

Palestinian residents said they had seen a teenager forced into an unidentified vehicle outside a supermarket in the Shoafat section on Wednesday, according to a Reuters photographer.

Later that morning, “police discovered a body in the Jerusalem forest and were looking to see if there was a connection between the missing youth and the body that was found,” Rosenfeld added.

The incident takes place one day after Israel buried the teenagers kidnapped on June 12 near a Jewish settlement – their bodies were found in the West Bank on Monday.

Israeli Ynet website reported that the body was charred, with apparent signs of violence.

Dozens of Israelis protested in Jerusalem on Tuesday night against the kidnap and killing of the Israeli teens, with some of them reportedly shouting “death to the Arabs,” during one of the demonstrations.

Israel blamed Hamas Islamists for the kidnappings. The group praised the seizures but did not claim responsibility.

Meanwhile, Israel demolished the home of a Palestinian man arrested earlier in June over charges of shooting dead an off-duty police officer April, Israel's army said on Wednesday.

The demolition of Ziad Awad’s house served as a deterrent, an army spokesperson warned.

“The implementation of the demolition order serves to deter and conveys a severe warning to terrorists and their accomplices that their actions will bear severe consequences,” Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner said.

“They came at three in the morning and had finished destroying the house at seven. I had thought they would just tear down my brother's house, but now everything's gone and we also have nowhere to go,” said Ziad's brother Mohammed.

Mohammad lives in the same building as Ziad, along with 15 other members of their extended family, according to Reuters.

(With Reuters and AFP)

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