JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged following arrests in the murder of a Palestinian teen that the killers “will face the full weight of the law.”
Israel’s Shin Bet security service announced Sunday that it had arrested “several Jewish suspects” in the kidnap and murder of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khieder, whose body was found July 2 in the Jerusalem forest.
Sending his condolences to the victim’s family, Netanyahu said Sunday, “I pledge that the perpetrators of this horrific crime, which must be resolutely condemned in the most forceful language, I pledge that the perpetrators of this horrific crime will face the full weight of the law. I know that in our society, the society of Israel, there is no place for such murderers.
“And that’s the difference between us and our neighbors. They consider murderers to be heroes. They name public squares after them. We don’t. We condemn them and we put them on trial and we’ll put them in prison,” he said. “We do not differentiate between the terrorists and we will respond to all of them, wherever they come from, with a firm hand.”
Netanyahu made his remarks in Nof Ayalon, where he paid a condolence call to the family of Naftali Fraenkel, one of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers found dead last week after an 18-day search.
Netanyahu also pledged to capture the murderers of Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach, who have been identified by Israeli security services.
“The Palestinian Authority is obliged to do everything in its power to find them, just as we did, just as our security forces located the suspects in the murder of Mohammed Abu Khieder within a matter of days,” he said.
One of the suspects arrested in connection with Kieder’s murder had confessed and implicated other suspects, who also confessed under Shin Bet interrogation, the Israeli media reported.