UN Special Envoy to the Middle East, Robert Serry, has condemned the killing of Palestinian teen Muhammad Abu Khdeir in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shu’fat. Israeli PM Netanyahu has also issued a statement in condemnation of the boy’s murder.Serry said in a statement, Wednesday, according to Al Ray: ‘I strongly condemn the murder of the Palestinian child that took place in Jerusalem,’ adding: ‘I am reiterating the UN Secretary-General’s message that any deliberate killing of civilians is no justified. All parties should take the necessary measures to avoid any escalation, and we are all sympathetic with the bereaved family.’
UNRWA is increasingly disturbed by the rising levels of violence in the occupied Palestinian territory, WAFA has reported.
A statement by spokesperson for the organization, Chris Gunness, asserts:
‘We echo the strong condemnation and the statements by the UN Secretary-General and other senior UN officials on the abduction on 12 June and subsequent killing of three Israelis, including two children,’ he added.
‘We also strongly condemn the reported abduction and killing this morning of a Palestinian child in East Jerusalem.’
‘At the same time we urge maximum restraint from all parties to prevent the situation from deteriorating further,’ Gunness said. ‘We call for strict compliance with international law by all relevant actors to avoid further loss of life, injuries and suffering. We again call on the Israeli authorities to refrain from punishing individuals for offences they themselves have not personally committed. Collective punishment is illegal under international law. UNRWA will continue to monitor its impact on the population we serve.’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also condemned what he called the ‘despicable murder’ of the teen, just hours after the incident, according to Ma’an.
A statement from his office said: ‘Prime Minister Netanyahu asked the investigating authorities to work as quickly as possible to find out who was behind the despicable murder of the youth, and what is the background of the incident.’
The PM urged all sides not to take the law into their own hands, according to Ma’an, as suspicions rose to suggest that the killing was carried out in revenge for the alleged murder by Palestinians of three Israeli teenagers.
Netanyahu was also recently quoted as saying that Hamas would pay the price for the death of the three Israeli settlers:
On his Twitter account, the Israeli Prime Minister posted, “Vengeance for the blood of a small child, Satan has not yet created. Neither has vengeance for the blood of 3 pure youths who were on their way home to their parents who will not see them anymore. Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay.”
Hamas has neither claimed responsibility for the killings, nor has any evidence to suggest that the faction was involved yet been presented.
US Secretary of State John Kerry commented, as well: ‘There are no words to convey adequately our condolences to the Palestinian people.’
‘It is sickening to think of an innocent 17-year-old boy snatched off the streets and his life stolen from him and his family,’ the statement added, according to Ma’an.
‘Those who undertake acts of vengeance only destabilize an already explosive and emotional situation. We look to both the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to take all necessary steps to prevent acts of violence and bring their perpetrators to justice.’