Mohammed Abu Khdeir removed from terror victims' memorial after family's request
Palestinian teen, who was burned alive by Jewish settlers, was added to the Victims of Acts of Terror Memorial at Mount Herzl; 'This is a great initiative to honor my son, but I'm more interested in justice,' says father.
The National Insurance Institute removed the name of Mohammed Abu Khdeir from the Victims of Acts of Terror Memorial at Mount Herzl on Tuesday, following a request by his family. The Khdeir family made their request earlier in the day after discovering the addition of the name from media outlets.
Israel Radio reported on Tuesday morning that the name of Khdeir, the Palestinian teenager from East Jerusalem who was kidnapped and murdered by Jewish settlers last summer, was added to the Victims of Acts of Terror Memorial at Mount Herzl,.
His name was also added to the list of terror victims in the government-run website.
The Defense Ministry recognized Abu Khdeir as a victim of "hostile action" in July, some two weeks after he was murdered.
Hussein Abu Khdeir, Mohammed's father, told Ynet that "this is a great initiative meant to honor my son, but I'm more interested with something else entirely: For the court to do justice with those who burned my son alive, and sentence them to the appropriate punishment."
Hussein was referring to the fact defense lawyers for some of the accused plan to claim their clients are mentally unfit to stand trial.
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"My son is gone, my son was burned and we were burned with him. I want justice and not honor. What good is it going to do me if they carve his name in stone?" Hussein said.
Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, was murdered shortly after the bodies of three Israeli teens - Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach - were discovered after they were kidnapped and murdered near Hebron.
The accused, 30-year-old Yosef Ben-David and two minors, kidnapped Abu Khdeir from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat and burned him alive at the Jerusalem Forest.
Hussein said that since the murder early on the morning of July 2, 2014, members of the family have been in a bad state.
"Mohammed's mother, his brothers and sisters, and I, can't stop experiencing hardships. Our entire life is gone. We have mental problems in the family since it happened," he said.
"I don't forget for a moment that at court, my son's murderers look at me and laugh and enjoy themselves. How would you feel if someone burned your son alive and smiled at court? It made me and his mother sick. We can't leave the house. Every night I think about how he was burned," he added.