Defense Ministry Recognizes Mohammed Abu Khdeir as Victim of 'Hostile Action'

Announcement follows three being charged with the Palestinian teen's murder; charges also brought for incitement, attempted abduction of 7-year-old Mussa Zalum.

AP

The Defense Ministry has recognized Mohammed Abu Khdeir, the Palestinian teen who was kidnapped and murdered in East Jerusalem last month, as a victim of hostile action. This is the same terminology used to refer to Israeli citizens who are victims of terrorism. 

The announcement was made Thursday after three Israeli suspects, including two minors, were indicted for the 16-year-old's murder.

The suspects – one of them 29 years old, the other two 16 - confessed to the murder last week and even reenacted the crime, showing police the route taken from the abduction site to the Jerusalem forest location where Abu Khdeir's charred body was found.

Two of the suspects were also charged with incitement in the attempted kidnapping of 7-year-old Mussa Zalum, less than a day before Abu Khdeir's murder. They also stand accused of setting fire to cars owned by Arabs, as well as a shop.

Autopsy reports indicated that Abu Khdeir was burned alive.

The three are suspected of carrying out the murder as revenge for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in the West Bank, whose bodies were found the night before Abu Khdeir was snatched.

"The indictment that was filed details a grave and shocking act, perpetrated against a background of racism, against an innocent teenager," Israel's Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein was quoted as saying in a Justice Ministry statement.

"The attorney general wishes to express his deep sorrow over this cruel act that counters all basic human morals."