The families of Jewish and Palestinian teenage boys murdered in Israel in recent weeks have consoled one another, exchanging words of comfort, as the country’s military builds up to a state of all-out war.
Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat told of an “emotional and special conversation between two families that have lost their sons,” as the father of 17-year old Mohammed Abu Khdeir and the uncle of 16-year-old Naftali Fraenkel spoke.
Yishai Fraenkel said: “The life of an Arab is equally precious to that of a Jew. Blood is blood, murder is murder, whether that murder is Jewish or Arab.”
In a week when racial hatred spread across news and social media outlets, Palestinian families from the Hebron area showed up at the door of the Fraenkel family, seeking to comfort the bereaved. Also expressing his condolences was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called Mohammed’s father personally, expressing his outrage at his son’s murder and vowing to punish those responsible.
“I want to express my shock, and the shock of all Israeli citizens, at the heinous murder of your son,” he said.
“We acted immediately afterward to locate the murderers, and they will be brought to justice.” Israeli police last week arrested six Jewish Israelis in East Jerusalem in connection with the Palestinian boy’s abduction and gruesome murder, after it emerged that he had been made to ingest flammable liquid before being set on fire.