On July 2nd, a sixteen-year-old boy named Mohamed Abu Khdeir was sitting outside a mosque near his home in East Jerusalem when he was pulled into a car and kidnapped by Israeli Jews. His body was found in the Jerusalem Forest; he had been battered in the head and then, according to autopsy reports, burned alive. (There was soot in his lungs, and burns on ninety per cent of his body.) Six Israeli Jews, some of whom are minors, were arrested; three have confessed to the crime, according to Israeli reports.

Abu Khdeir’s murder came in the wake of the kidnapping of three Israeli teens—Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrach—who were murdered and buried by their Palestinian abductors in shallow graves. After their abduction, Prime Minister Netanyahu declared that Israel’s working assumption was that they were alive, even though the evidence, including a desperate cell-phone call from one of the boys, suggested otherwise. The search for the boys took the form of a brutal, sweeping search and arrest operation conducted by the Israeli Army throughout the West Bank, and helped to aggravate the climate of hatred and revenge. Two months after the nine-month U.S.-sponsored peace negotiations folded, Israel is now mobilizing its forces for a possible ground attack on the Gaza Strip, and Hamas is firing rockets. War, not peace, is the agenda of the day.

To read the full piece, visit the New Yorker.

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