Families of murdered teens support one another

Following the discovery of the Israeli teenagers who were abducted and killed in June, a Palestinian youth named Mohammed Abu Khdeir was brutally kidnapped and murdered in what appears to have been a revenge attack.

While some have resorted to aggression and threats of retribution, several family members of the murdered children have come together to show their solidarity in this time of mourning.

Over the weekend, Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat visited Rachel Fraenkel, the mother of the slain Israeli teen Naftali. During his visit Barkat spoke with Hussein Abu Khdeir, Mohammed’s father, over the telephone. Barkat suggested Abu Khdeir speak with Yishai Fraenkel, Naftali’s uncle, and the two men agreed.

He relayed the experience on Facebook and said that he had witnessed an “emotional and special telephone conversation between two families that have lost their sons.”

“We expressed our deep empathy with their sorrow, from one bereaved family to another bereaved family,” Yishai Fraenkel said. “I think it’s very good they seem to have found the culprits. We expressed our absolute disgust with what had happened. He accepted our statements, it was important for him to hear it.”

As tensions mount between Israeli and Palestinian forces following the attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered his condolences to the Abu Khdeir family and said that “We do not differentiate between terrorists, and we will respond to all of them.”

The Fraenkels released a statement following Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s murder saying, “There is no difference when it comes to blood. Murder is murder; there is no justification, forgiveness or atonement for any murder.”