APN condemns the killing of a Palestinian youth in East Jerusalem. The government of Israel must act swiftly to investigate the murder and bring the perpetrator or perpetrators to justice. It remains to be established whether Muhammad Abu-Khdeir (16) was murdered as revenge for the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli youths in the West Bank. What is absolutely clear is that in the wake of the murder of the three Israeli youths, the Israeli government has fomented a mood of revenge among Israelis, beginning with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s promise of “revenge” for the killings. That mood began taking concrete form in demonstrations and marches yesterday in Israel, which were marked with calls of “death to Arabs,” as well as attacks against Arabs inside Israel.
Incitement to hatred and violence is indefensible and unconscionable, whether engaged in by Israelis or Palestinians. If today’s killing turns out to be a revenge murder, the responsibility lies not only with those who committed the crime, but with those who incited them to act. APN calls on Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government to end the incitement. He and other Israeli leaders must speak out and act decisively against those Israelis who want to spill more innocent blood. APN also calls on President Abbas to speak out against calls for violence or revenge among Palestinians. As the uncle of Naftali Fraenkel, one of Israel’s murdered youths, wisely stated, “There is no difference between blood and blood. A murderer is a murderer, no matter his nationality and age. There is no justification, no forgiveness and no atonement for any murder.”