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U.S., UK condemn apparent revenge killing of Palestinian teen

In his statement, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the killing in ‘the strongest possible terms’

Published: Updated:

The United States on Wednesday condemned the killing of a Palestinian youth in apparent revenge for the murders of three Israeli teenagers, warning acts of vengeance would worsen an explosive situation, Agence France-Presse reported.

“There are no words to convey adequately our condolences to the Palestinian people,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement.

In his statement, Kerry condemned the killing in “the strongest possible terms.”

He said it was sickening to think a young boy could be “snatched off the streets and his life stolen from him and his family.”

Mohammed Abu Khder, 16, was kidnapped and killed in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

Palestinian leaders hold Israel responsible for the attack, which is believed to have been carried out in revenge for the kidnap and killing of three Israeli teenagers.

Gilad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel, both 16, and 19-year-old Eyal Ifrach disappeared from a roadside in the West Bank on June 12. Their bodies were found Monday.

Israel has blamed Hamas militants for the deaths.

Kerry noted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had condemned the killing and urged Israelis not to take the law into their own hands.

“Those who undertake acts of vengeance only destabilize an already explosive and emotional situation,” Kerry said.

“We look to both the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to take all necessary steps to prevent acts of violence and bring their perpetrators to justice.

“At this tense and dangerous moment, all parties must do everything in their power to protect the innocent and act with reasonableness and restraint, not recrimination and retribution.”

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron also condemned as “appalling” the killing of the Palestinian teenager.

Cameron urged Israel and the Palestinians to exercise restraint as tensions rise.

“I’m appalled by the murder of a Palestinian teenager,” Cameron wrote on Twitter.

“The loss of four boys this week is a terrible reminder of the need for lasting peace,” he added.