Palestinian Teen Was Burned Alive, Says Autopsy

Mohammed Abu Khdeir was buried yesterday
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2014 8:55 AM CDT
Palestinian Teen Was Burned Alive, Says Autopsy
Palestinians throw rocks as they clash with Israeli security forces during the funeral of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir in Jerusalem on Friday.   (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

The autopsy of the 16-year-old Palestinian boy murdered in Jerusalem this week reveals a grim detail: Mohammed Abu Khdeir had smoke and soot in his lungs, indicating that his body was set on fire while he was still alive, reports CNN and the New York Times. He also suffered a head injury from a blunt object, according to the autopsy, which was conducted by Israeli doctors and attended by the chief Palestinian coroner, reports Reuters. “It was obvious through autopsy that there was black smoke on the breathing airways, windpipes and in the two lungs,” says a post on the Palestinian attorney general's website. “This is proof of inhalation of this material during the torch, while he was alive.”

The killing is widely presumed to be a revenge attack by far-right Jewish settlers for the murder of three Israeli teenagers who had been kidnapped, and the new finding could raise tensions even more. At Khdeir's funeral in Jerusalem yesterday, Palestinians threw stones at Israeli police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades. A police spokesperson says there have been "no breakthroughs" yet in Khdeir's case. "We'll get to the bottom of it and catch those responsible," says a spokesperson for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Khdeir's American cousin was beaten and arrested during a demonstration, say relatives.)

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