Arab teen's name to be removed from Israeli memorial

Published April 22nd, 2015 - 09:48 GMT

The name of Arab murder victim Muhammed Abu Khdeir, which was recently added to the Victims of Acts of Terror Memorial on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl, will be removed at the request of his family.

The Abu Khdeir family asked the National Insurance Institute to remove Muhammad’s name, and the institution conceded to their request.

Abu Khdeir’s father, Hussein, said Tuesday that he wasn’t informed of the move to include his son on the memorial, and that he opposed it. In an interview with Ynet, he said that all he wanted was for his son’s killers to be punished.

“That’s the most important thing to me — not the honor bestowed on my son,” he added. “My son is gone. My son was burned and we burned along with him. I want justice, not honor. What good is it going to do me if his name is carved in a stone?” he said.

Abu Khdeir was referring to the prime suspect in his son’s killing, Yosef Haim Ben-David, who has claimed that he is not mentally fit to stand trial, while two other suspects in the case have denied responsibility.

He also noted that his son was not an Israeli citizen.

On Tuesday, Abu Khdeir’s name showed up on the government’s online database of terror victims, next to an Israeli flag overlaid with a picture of the Blood of the Maccabees flower, which has come to symbolize the country’s fallen.

In an apparent revenge attack in early July 2014, three Jewish Israeli men abducted the 16-year-old Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem and took him to the Jerusalem Forest, where they beat him with tire irons and — while he was unconscious — burned him to death.

Hussein told the news outlet that his family had suffered a great deal since his son’s murder. “Our entire life is gone. We have suffered mental health problems since it happened.”

“I don’t forget for a moment that in the courtroom, my son’s murders looking over at me laughing and enjoying themselves…It made his mother and me sick. We can’t even leave the house, every night I think about how he was burned,” he said.

© 2021 The Times of Israel. All rights reserved.

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