Shin Bet Tells Peres Not to Visit Family of Murdered Palestinian Teen

Peres wanted to visit the Abu Khdeir family's mourning tent in East Jerusalem, but pandemonium broke out when people heard he was going to visit.

Relatives and friends of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, carry his body during his funeral.
Relatives and friends of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, carry his body during his funeral in Shuafat, East Jerusalem, July 4, 2014. AFP

President Shimon Peres wanted to visit the mourning tent of the family of murdered Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir on Monday, but the Israel Police and the Shin Bet security service advised him to postpone the visit.

There was pandemonium at the tent in East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shoafat when people found out he was planning to visit, and body guards from the Shin Bet VIP protection unit started making their way around the tent. Young members of the family who were present chanted slogans against visits by Israeli officials.

"Whoever visits us must enter with dignity," said Sheikh Mahmoud Abu Khdeir, one of the heads of the teen's family, "and now it is not possible to come with dignity."

Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch also announced he was going to pay a visit at the Abu Khdeir family home on Tuesday, but the visit was canceled "due to scheduling constraints."

Some Israeli officials did visit the mourning tent on Monday, however. Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz, MK Shelly Yacimovitch (Labor), and MK Michal Rosin (Meretz) paid their respects. Left-wing activists from Jerusalem also came to express their condolences. 

Abu Khdeir's parents travelled to Ramallah in the West Bank on Monday afternoon to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Meanwhile, calm returned to Shoafat after the clashes and protests following Abu Khdeir's death. The municipality cleaned the main street, the site of the protests, and workers from the Jerusalem Light Rail began repairing the damage done to two stations at Shoafat and Es-Sahl, which were completely destroyed during the rioting.

On Monday, Police went into the center of Shoafat for the first time since the clashes began, and staying in the area of the family home.