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article imageIsrael accuses six of roles in brutal slaying

By Nathan Salant     Jul 7, 2014 in World
Jerusalem - Israel said Sunday that it had arrested six Jewish suspects in the slaying of a Palestinian teen abducted from an East Jerusalem street on July 2.
Authorities declined to release any information about the suspects besides that they were Jewish and had "nationalist motives," but local media reported that they were far-right extremists from Jerusalem and a nearby Jewish settlement, according to the Reuters news service.
Some kind of violent reaction from Israel's powerful right-wing had been expected following last month's discovery of the bodies of three Israeli teens who disappeared while hitchhiking in the occupied West Bank.
The murder of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khudair came days after the bodies of the Jewish seminary students were discovered near Hebron, three weeks after they were reported missing.
Khudair's murder set off days of violent protests in Jerusalem and Israeli Arab towns, Reuters said.
Tensions also skyrocketed Sunday on Israel's border with the Gaza Strip, where the country's warplanes bombed suspected sites used by militants to fire rockets at southern Israeli cities.
Two Palestinian militants were killed and one wounded in Sunday airstrikes, Reuters said.
Hospital officials confirmed the deaths, and Israel's military confirmed it had bombed central Gaza, Reuters said.
Gaza is ruled by the Hamas terrorist group, considered more extreme than the Palestinian Authority that controls the West Bank.
But Gaza and the PA recently reached a unification deal that could change regional dynamics.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to signal Sunday that a major military operation in Gaza was not in the works, even though Israel had dispatched more troops to the border on Thursday.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said a gag order had been imposed on most details of the East Jerusalem murder.
The country's Shin Bet security agency said the suspects were being questioned at one of its installations.
But Israeli media said the suspects had been ordered into custody for eight days.
Mohammed Abu Khudair's body was discovered in a Jerusalem forest on Wednesday, and an autopsy indicated he had been set afire before being killed.
Netanyahu pledged that Israeli authorities would bring "the full weight of the law" to bear on the killers.
"There is no place for such murderers" in Israeli society, Netanyahu said.
"We won't let extremists on either side set the area on fire and lead to bloodshed," he said.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas said he sent a message to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urging an international investigation committee into "terror crimes conducted against our people, including the burning alive of Mohammed Abu Khudair."
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