Clashes spread after autopsy finds Palestinian boy was ‘burned alive’

Clashes sparked by the abduction and murder of a Palestinian teenager spread from east Jerusalem to Arab towns inside Israel on Saturday, as autopsy reports showed he was burned alive. Rocket fire targeting Israel from Gaza also increased, raising fears of an escalation with the Islamist Hamas movement which controls the Palestinian enclave. Mohammed Abu Khder, 16, was abducted from occupied east Jerusalem early Wednesday, and his charred body found hours later in a west Jerusalem forest.

We must unite to prevent tragedies and loss of life. Together we can lower the flames and protect the innocent people.

Israeli President Shimon Peres

A “profoundly troubled” United States condemned reports Saturday that an American teenager detained in Israel was “severely beaten” while in police custody, amid heightened tensions with Palestinians. The parents of Tariq Abu Khder, a 15-year-old cousin of Mohammed Abu Khder, have told AFP that their son was arrested in Shuafat after being beaten by police on Thursday during his holiday stay in the area.

We reiterate our grave concern about the increasing violent incidents, and call on all sides to take steps to restore calm and prevent harm to innocents.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki