A video that was released to the media on Sunday, but which has been in the hands of Israeli police since Wednesday, shows a different angle of the same incident captured by a separate surveillance video, in which 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir is forced into a car.The video was released by the website Electronicintifada.net, which stated “The footage comes from a security camera on the building owned by Hussein Abu Khdeir, Muhammad’s father.”
The original video was handed over to police two hours after the boy’s disappearance, before his body had even been found. The video released to the Electronic Intifada appears to have been recorded by a cell phone camera filming the TV screen playing the original. Israeli police can be heard in the background talking, so they were present when the cell phone video was taken, but were apparently unaware that the original had been recorded. If they had, based on their usual mode of operations, they would have demanded that the copy be handed over as well.
Soon after the release of the second surveillance video by the media on Sunday, Israeli police announced that they had detained six suspects, all of whom are right-wing Israelis associated with the Beitar Jerusalem football team – a team notorious for anti-Arab sloganeering and practices – according to Israeli blogger Elizabeth Tsurkov.
Prior to the arrests on Sunday, the Israeli police’s actions in the case have indicated to most observers an attempt to cover up instead of investigate the brutal murder of Abu Khdeir. Instead of following the very clear leads provided by the surveillance videos and the license plate number of the vehicle that abducted the boy, police tried to cast aspersion on the Abu Khdeir family with a rumor campaign – a strategy that backfired when the family’s extensive contacts throughout the U.S. contacted local media outlets and U.S. officials to pressure the Israeli government to stop spreading rumors and, instead, investigate the ample evidence in the case.
The killing of 16-year old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was burned alive by his abductors, has sparked widespread protests throughout the West Bank, Gaza and Palestinian areas in what is now Israel. The protests have been met by a brutal police crackdown, with the arrests of dozens, beatings, injuries, and the use of live ammunition against demonstrators in several instances.