In the wake of intelligence and operational information, the Israel Police and the Israel Security Agency (ISA), this morning (Sunday, 6 July), arrested several Jewish suspects regarding the July 2 abduction and murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir from Shuafat, Jerusalem. The suspects are being questioned at an ISA facility.
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch: "The Jerusalem District of the Israel Police and the ISA have arrested several youths on suspicion of involvement in the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir.
The State of Israel is a country that abides by, and enforces, the law, and will continue to take determined action against all those who violate the law. I ask that everyone show responsibility and work to prevent further disturbances.
This was a shocking and unacceptable act which any sane person, certainly in a strong and democratic country such as the State of Israel, must strongly condemn."
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman: "The shocking murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir is beyond being a despicable crime. It also violates the moral basis of the just struggle for our right to live as a free people in a Jewish State in the Land of Israel. Even with the justifiable rage each and every one of us feels from the murders of Gilad Sha'er, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrah, as well as the murder of Shelly Dadon, nothing can justify another murder. The murderers should be punished to the full extent of the law."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "I would like to send my condolences to the Abu Khdeir family. I pledge that the perpetrators of this horrific crime, which must be resolutely condemned in the most forceful language, will face the full weight of the law. I know that in our society, the society of Israel, there is no place for such murderers. And that's the difference between us and our neighbors. They consider murderers to be heroes. They name public squares after them. We don't. We condemn them and we put them on trial and we'll put them in prison.
And that's not the only difference. While we put these murderers on trial, in the Palestinian Authority, there is continuous incitement for the destruction of the State of Israel. It's a staple of the official media and the educational system.
This is an asymmetrical conflict. We do not seek their destruction; they teach a very broad segment of their society to seek our destruction. And that must end. There is too much suffering. There is too much pain.
We do not differentiate between the terrorists and we will respond to all of them, wherever they come from, with a firm hand. We will not allow extremists from wherever they come to ignite the region and shed more blood.
I am visiting today with the families of Gilad, Naftali and Eyal, who were murdered by Hamas terrorists. I promised their dear families that we will continue to stand by them, even after the days of mourning.
We know exactly who kidnapped and murdered Gilad, Naftali and Eyal, and we'll get them. The murderers came from the territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority; they returned to territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Therefore, the Palestinian Authority is obliged to do everything in its power to find them, just as we did, just as our security forces located the suspects in the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir within a matter of days."
President Shimon Peres: "If a Jew kills they will be put to the court like any other criminal, there is no privilege, the law is equal to all and all are equal before the law. On that there is no compromise. We do not distinguish between blood and blood. The murder of a child is reprehensible, regardless of the religion or nationality of the child. It is our responsibility to secure life and to punish those who take it away from others. We are a nation that is not looking for war; peace remains our strategic, historic and moral preference. Israel is a proud democracy and decisions are taken by the majority through ballots, not by the minority with bullets."
President Peres repeated his call for an end to incitement and violence, "We must stop the incitement, it's time to be respectful and to respect the law. It's in our hands. We know where words can lead, to more sorrow, to more danger. It's time for all of us to show restraint, to show understanding and let us as human beings, all of us, be true to our morality and to our hope of living together in peace."