One year after a 16-year-old Palestinian was kidnapped from his home in Jerusalem and burned to death by Israeli settlers, his family and neighbors haven’t found peace, and justice seems even more elusive.
In the early morning of July 2, 2014, Mohammed Abu Khdeir was waiting for friends when he was kidnapped near his home. Witnesses and surveillance video showed him being forced into a car. His scorched and beaten body was found soon after in a nearby forest; Abu Khdeir had been burned alive by Jewish extremists.
Many saw Abu Khdeir’s brutal death as retaliation for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens, who were buried just the day before. But even the mother of one of the slain Israelis decried the death of the Palestinian, telling the media, “There is no difference between blood and blood. Murder is murder. There is no justification and no atonement for murder.” The killing further inflamed the already high tensions between the people of Gaza and the occupying army in the lead up to the summer’s brutal war, during which Israeli forces killed thousands of civilians.