Anatomy of murders

July 7, 2014 by Henry Benjamin
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Murders in Israel….thoughts from the Israeli Security Agency, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyau, President Shimon Peres and Australian community identities and others

From the ISA

In the wake of expedited intelligence activity, the Israel Police and the ISA, on 16 June 2014, arrested Hussein Yousef Hussein Khalifa, from Iblin in the Galilee, on suspicion of involvement in the 1 May 2014 murder of Shelly Dadon in the Migdal Haemek industrial zone.

During ISA questioning, Hussein Khalifa confessed to murdering Dadon and disclosed many details regarding the murder.

Hussein Khalifa, 34, from Iblin, is a taxi driver who drove workers to and from factories in the Migdal Haemek industrial zone. On the morning of the day of the murder, after dropping off workers at one of the factories as he did daily, he continued toward the center of town (Migdal Haemek) where he picked up the deceased. She requested that he drive her to a job interview in the industrial zone. He drove her to an abandoned parking lot on the outskirts of the industrial zone (not far from her requested destination) where he stabbed her to death and fled the scene in his cab.

According to his version, after perpetrating the murder, Hussein Khalifa threw away the murder weapon and the deceased’s cellphone as he fled the scene, and later washed bloodstains from his cab. He also threw away the deceased’s wallet near the community of Beit Zarzir.

While Hussein Khalifa’s motives have yet to be fully clarified, the ISA assessment is that the murder was perpetrated for nationalistic reasons.


Statement by Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch
(Communicated by the Public Security Ministry Spokesperson)

 Yitzhak Aharonovitch

Yitzhak Aharonovitch

In the wake of the ISA statement earlier today (Sunday, 6 July 2014), regarding the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch releases the following:

“The Jerusalem District of the Israel Police and the ISA have arrested several youths on suspicion of involvement in the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir.

I would like to thank all those involved in the work, who, since the event, have devoted maximum efforts to uncovering and arresting the perpetrators.

The State of Israel is a country that abides by, and enforces, the law, and will continue to take determined action against all those who violate the law. I ask that everyone show responsibility and work to prevent further disturbances.

This was a shocking and unacceptable act which any sane person, certainly in a strong and democratic country such as the State of Israel, must strongly condemn.”



Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu        Photo: Henry Benjamin

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Photo: Henry Benjamin

“I am visiting today with my family, the families of Gilad, Naftali and Eyal, who were murdered by Hamas terrorists. I promised their dear families that we will continue to stand by them, even after the days of mourning.

We know exactly who kidnapped and murdered Gilad, Naftali and Eyal, and we’ll get them. The murderers came from the territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority; they returned to territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Therefore, the Palestinian Authority is obliged to do everything in its power to find them, just as we did, just as our security forces located the suspects in the murder of Mohammed Abu Khudair within a matter of days.

I would like to send my condolences to the Abu Khudair family. I pledge that the perpetrators of this horrific crime, which must be resolutely condemned in the most forceful language. I pledge that the perpetrators of this horrific crime will face the full weight of the law. I know that in our society, the society of Israel, there is no place for such murderers. And that’s the difference between us and our neighbors. They consider murderers to be heroes. They name public squares after them. We don’t. We condemn them and we put them on trial and we’ll put them in prison.

And that’s not the only difference. While we put these murderers on trial, in the Palestinian Authority, there is continuous incitement for the destruction of the State of Israel. It’s a staple of the official media and the educational system.

This is an asymmetrical conflict. We do not seek their destruction; they teach a very broad segment of their society to seek our destruction. And that must end. There is too much suffering. There is too much pain.

We do not differentiate between the terrorists and we will respond to all of them, wherever they come from, with a firm hand. We will not allow extremists from wherever they come to ignite the region and shed more blood.

Netanyahu spoke with Hussein Abu Khdeir, the father of Muhammad Abu Khdeir.  Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “I would like to express my outrage and that of the citizens of Israel over the reprehensible murder of your son. We acted immediately to apprehend the murderers. We will bring them to trial and they will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law. We denounce all brutal behavior; the murder of your son is abhorrent and cannot be countenanced by any human being.”


President Shimon Peres    Photo: Henry Benjamin

President Shimon Peres Photo: Henry Benjamin

The President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, addressed the abduction and murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir today and said, “If a Jew kills they will be put to the court like any other criminal, there is no privilege, the law is equal to all and all are equal before the law. On that there is no compromise. We do not distinguish between blood and blood. The murder of a child is reprehensible, regardless of the religion or nationality of the child. It is our responsibility to secure life and to punish those who take it away from others. We’re a nation that is not looking for war; peace remains our strategic, historic and moral preference. Israel is a proud democracy and decisions are taken by the majority through ballots, not by the minority with bullets”

President Peres repeated his call for an end to incitement and violence, “We must stop the incitement, it’s time to be respectful and to respect the law. It’s in our hands. We know where words can lead, to more sorrow, to more danger. It’s time for all of us to show restraint, to show understanding and let us as human beings, all of us, be true to our morality and to our hope of living together in peace.”

The president spoke with Hussein Abu Khdeir, the father of Mohamed Abu Khdeir, and expressed his condolences. President Peres said, “I know what you and your family is going through. I am full of shame and share in your grief. He was murdered by criminals. I am ashamed on behalf of my nation and grieve with you. The only thing left for all of us to do is to ensure that no more children are murdered, and no more tears are shed are by mothers.” Hussein Abu Khdeir said that he “seeks true justice in the court.”

President Peres said, “Justice will be done and we will not compromise on that. We all reject murderers and like you I want justice, true justice. There is nothing that saddens us more than the tears of a mother and the grief of a father. Sadly there is no comfort for a grieving mother but there will be no compassion for the murderers. The murderers must be punished and the murder uprooted from its source. We must replace the mourner’s tent with a tabernacle of peace.” Hussein Abu Khdeir thanked President Peres and expressed his wish for justice and peace.


Embassy of the State of Israel, Canberra

Shocked, bewildered and devastated, the State of Israel stands together with the rest of the world to resolutely condemn the reprehensible and inexplicable murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir.

We wish to send our most heartfelt condolences to Muhammad Abu Khdeir’s family. He was a child taken too soon.

This act of terrorism was perpetrated by people who have no place in Israeli society. This abhorrent deed is not reflective of our values, or our Israeli and Jewish spirit, and it does not blend with any part of our moral fibre.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already pledged that “the perpetrators of this horrific crime, which must be resolutely condemned in the most forceful language, will face the full weight of the law. I know that in our society, the society of Israel, there is no place for such murderers.” The State of Israel will work tirelessly to see that we uphold democracy and the rule of law. We will take determined action against those who violate it. We will bring the perpetrators of the violent murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir to justice.

We expect the Palestinian Authority to take rapid, necessary, and effective measures to apprehend those involved directly and indirectly with the kidnap and murder of Naftali, Eyal and Gilad, and hand them over to Israel.

As a nation mourning our own losses of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali, we can and do empathise with the grief over Muhammad Abu Khdeir. We call for the renewed focus to bring peace to our region, to end the violence and incitement that engulfs us. It all has to end to allow our children to grow without fear or harm. There is never a time for vengeance, only a time for peace.


Labor Federal MP Michael Danby


Michael Danby

Michael Danby

Naftali Fraenkel’s family was right when they said of the murder of Muhammed Abu Khedir, “there is no difference between Arab blood and Jewish blood. Murder is murder. There is no forgiveness or justification for any murder.’’

I was appalled by the recent kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teenagers – Eyal Yifrach, Gil-ad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkel (see this interview with seasoned Israeli analyst Ehud Yaari)- in the West Bank. If it emerges that the recent abduction and murder of the Palestinian teenager, Muhammed Abu Khdeir was ‘in revenge’ for nationalistic reasons then it is equally appalling.   Whoever the perpetrators are and whatever their motives, these killings deserve to be condemned unequivocally and in the strongest possible terms.  My deepest sympathies go out to the families of all the victims.

On the murder of Muhammed Abu Khdeir, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has responded firmly ordering his police to ‘swiftly investigate.’ Israeli Justice Minister, Tzipi Livni, has said that she hopes the killing of Abu Khdeir was ‘not an act of vengeance ’and that Israel is “a lawful state and not a terrorist society.” This is in contrast when, some months ago, Hamas published an 18-page manual on abduction techniques entitled “Guide for the Kidnapper.” What’s more Palestinian Authority (PA) security officials have released video footage of what they describe as an underground dungeon Hamas had prepared meant to hide abducted Israelis.

I sincerely hope that both Palestinians and Israelis pause to reflect on the tragedy of these deaths and appreciate that these sorts of acts should never, and must never, be condoned in the pursuit of any cause.


Dr Danny Lamm president of the Zionist Federation of Australia  and the ZFA constituent members


Dr Danny Lamm

Dr Danny Lamm

The president of the Zionist Federation of Australia Dr. Danny Lamm and the presidents of the Zionist Councils of Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland issued a joint statement today in response to the news of the arrest of six suspects over the horrific murder of 16-year-old  Arab teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir.  “There is no place in civil society for crimes of this nature and we are pleased that the speedy investigation by Israel Police has led to the arrests of those alleged to be responsible.

The Zionist movement of Australia is deeply saddened that the six suspects arrested in connection with the brutal and horrific murder of Arab teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir are Jewish.  Murder of innocents is antithetical to Jewish values.  The Justice system will decide the fate of the accused.”

The leaders also expressed the fervent hope that the perpetrators of the kidnapping and murder of Israeli teenagers Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Fraenkel will be apprehended quickly and tried for their despicable crimes.


Nina Bassat, President of The Jewish Community Council of Victoria

Nina Bassat

Nina Bassat

The abduction and murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir is horrific. We extend our condolences to his family and commend the swift apprehension of a number of suspects.

This brutal killing has been condemned throughout Israel and the entire Jewish World.  We have faith that the justice system will establish the facts and bring to bear the full weight of the law on the killers of Mohammed Abu Khdeir. Justice must and will without doubt be carried out by the State of Israel.

We hope that the arrests will bring to an end the extremely volatile situation and the barrage of rockets of recent days.



From Mark Leibler and Dr Colin Rubenstein The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council

Mark Leibler

Mark Leibler

AIJAC(Australia/Israel&Jewish Affairs Council) reiterates its unequivocal condemnation of the horrific abduction and murder of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir on July 2 in Jerusalem.

We commend the Israeli police for their speedy investigation and arrest of six Jewish suspects in  bringing those responsible for this heinous crime to justice.

Dr Colin Rubenstein

Dr Colin Rubenstein

The likelihood that this abhorrent and deplorable murder was a revenge attack for the brutal kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers is not only morally repugnant but antithetical to Jewish tradition and Israel’s core values as a nation founded on the principle that everyone must act and be accountable according to the rule of law.

We extend our deepest condolences to the Khdeir family, as well as to our friends and colleagues in the Arab community who expect, and deserve, more from Israeli

society than what has been perpetrated by extremists of this ilk, who do not in any way reflect the views of the overwhelming majority of Israelis who wish to

live in mutually respectful peace and harmony.



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