The United States condemns abduction and murder of Palestinian youth
The United States has strongly condemned the abduction and murder of a Palestinian youth whose body was found in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) early Wednesday, Press TV reported.
The father of 16-year-old Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir, who was found beaten and burned to death, said on Wednesday the police had identified the body through DNA tests. He was seen being forced into a car by three Israelis in East al-Quds.
"There are no words to convey adequately our condolences to the Palestinian people," US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement issued late on Wednesday.
Kerry condemned the killing in "the strongest possible terms," saying that it was sickening to think a young boy could be "snatched off the streets and his life stolen from him and his family."
US national security adviser Susan Rice said on Twitter that the murder of the Palestinian teenager was "heinous".
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Washington called on "the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to take all necessary steps to prevent an atmosphere of revenge and retribution."
"We hope to swiftly see the guilty parties brought to justice," Earnest said.
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Kerry contacted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday following the discovery of the Palestinian teenager's body.
"We will continue to remain in touch with our counterparts from the Israeli and Palestinian counterparts, and again, clearly, we're deeply concerned about the violence on the ground," Psaki said.
Earlier in the day, Hamas warned that Israel will pay the price for "the abduction and murder" of the Palestinian teenager.
The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement said the Palestinian people will not allow this crime and all the killings by Israeli settlers go unpunished.
A spokesman for President of the Palestinian National Unity Government Mahmoud Abbas has also blamed Israel for the murder of the boy, calling on Tel Aviv to "find the killers."
The incident occurred a day after Israel buried three settlers, whose bodies had been found in a field near the village of Hilhul, north of the city of al-Khalil (Hebron) in the occupied West Bank. Tel Aviv claims Hamas is responsible for the death of the three. Hamas rejects the allegation.