الأربعاء , أغسطس 4 2021

Israel moves forces near Gaza border



The mother of Mohammed Abu Khdair

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Mohammed Abu Khdair’s mother: “My son wasn’t answering”

Israel has begun reinforcing its military forces on its border with the Gaza Strip amid heightened tensions with the Palestinians.

The murders of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank was followed by the murder of a Palestinian youth in Jerusalem.

Israel says the move is part of its response to mortar and rocket fire from Palestinian militants from Gaza.

It follows air strikes against the territory early on Thursday.

Ten Palestinians were injured in the Israel Defense Forces bombardment, which followed barrages from Gaza which struck two homes in the southern Israeli border town of Sderot overnight.

Meanwhile, the funeral of the Palestinian teenager who was abducted and killed in Jerusalem has been delayed so that a post-mortem examination can be completed.

Mohammed Abu Khdair’s father has said he hopes his son’s burial can still take place on Thursday.

The 17-year-old’s murder raised tensions amid claims it was in revenge for the killing of the three Israeli youths in the West Bank.

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A flare over Gaza City after an Israeli airstrike, 3 July 2014
Analysis: Kevin Connolly in Jerusalem

Israel’s air attacks on Gaza should not be seen as part of any action it may be planning to take against Hamas for the kidnapping and murder of the three young Israelis buried earlier this week.

They were an immediate response to a wave of attacks from Gaza in which rockets and mortars were fired at southern Israel.

Israeli military sources say the targets were weapons manufacturing facilities and training sites used by the militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

But the exchange of fire comes at a time of rising tension in Israel and the occupied territories.

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The funeral of Mohammed Abu Khdair had been due to take place after noon prayers at about 13:00 local time (10:00 GMT).

As the time for the burial approached, the family appeared to accuse the Israeli authorities of holding the body unnecessarily – something denied by police.



Mohammed Abu Khdair

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Two cousins of Mohammed Abu Khdair spoke to Yolande Knell about his death

The post-mortem, which is being conducted by Palestinian and Israeli doctors, is reported to be taking longer than expected because the body was burnt.

There are fears the funeral, when it does take place, will be followed by more clashes like those which erupted outside the teenager’s home on Wednesday. Then, protesters threw stones at police officers, who responded by firing sound bombs, tear gas and rubber bullets.

Jerusalem map showing locations of kidnapping and where body found

Father of murdered Palestinian, Mohammed Abu Khdair, 3 July 2014 The Palestinian boy’s father said he was told a post-mortem examination of his son’s body was still taking place

Damage from an Israeli air strike in Gaza, 3 July 2014Israel says its air strikes against targets in Gaza on Thursday were in response to Palestinian militant mortar attacks

Home damaged by rocket fire in southern Israeli town of Sderot, 3 July 2014Two homes were damaged by Palestinian rocket fire in the southern Israeli town of Sderot

Palestinian demonstrators in East Jerusalem, 2 July 2014The murder of Mohammed Abu Khdair sparked protests in East Jerusalem on Wednesday

The Palestinian boy was seen being forced into a car in Shufat, East Jerusalem, early on Wednesday.

His body was later found in West Jerusalem.



Avi and Rachel Frenkel embrace during the funeral of their son, Naftali Frenkel

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Murdered Israeli teen’s uncle: “Violence is not the path”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Jewish settlers of killing the boy, calling for the “strongest punishment against the murderers”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the murder was “despicable” and that he had ordered police to work “as quickly as possible to find out who was behind the heinous murder of the youth”.

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Israeli and Palestinian media reaction

Ben-Dror Yemini in mass circulation Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot: “The Jewish majority hope, pray, that Jews did not murder the youth from Shufat… but there is a fear that we are in denial…that a cancer of racist right is nesting among us.”

Dan Margalit in free, pro-Netanyahu Yisrael Hayom: “”Certainly every decent Israeli wants to get rid of the murderers of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Shaer. There is a blood debt with the two Palestinians who murdered them…the IDF and the Shabak must hunt them, not wild groups who operate outside public life.”

Pro-Fatah Palestinian daily Al-Quds: “We say once again that peace is the only way leading to the suspension of violence, fanaticism and tension.”

Dr Isam Shawir in Hamas-run, Gaza-based Filastin: “The threats made by the occupation are worthless and do not scare Hamas, particularly in the Gaza Strip.”

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The family of one of the three murdered Israeli teenagers also issued a statement condemning the latest killing.

“If the Arab youth was murdered because of nationalistic motives, then this is a horrible and horrendous act,” the statement from the family of Naftali Frenkel said.

Israeli police have urged caution over the motives for the killing, saying they are still investigating.

The bodies of the three Jewish seminary students were found near the city of Hebron on Monday, two-and-a-half weeks after they were abducted. Their funerals took place on Tuesday.

Are you in the area? Are you or is someone you know affected by the issues in this story? Please email [email protected] using the subject heading ‘Israel-Gaza’.

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