East Jerusalem: Parents Still Grieve One Year After Son, 16, Was Kidnapped And Burned Alive In Revenge Killing

It’s been one year since 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir was kidnapped and burned alive in east Jerusalem, but his parents are still grieving the death of their son, according to USA Today.

In July 2014, 30-year-old Yosef Ben-David and two teens – whose names cannot be released to the public – forced Mohammed into their car and drove to a forest where they brutally beat him until he fell unconscious. They then set the teen’s body on fire, killing him.

“It’s shocking,” one of the teens said who was involved in the brutal killing. “It’s hard for me to believe that I was party to such a horrific incident. It’s simply not true that I planned to kill him. I never dreamed that it would end in the way that it did.”

Although Ben-David initially tried to plea temporarily insane, he later admitted to setting Mohammed’s body on fire and stated the following.

“We decided we had to take revenge for what they [the terrorists] did. We were saying, ‘Let’s avenge.’ I said my blood was boiling and he said his blood was boiling and the whole country was silent and we were wondering why they did this to them, and what had they been guilty of?”

Now one year later, Mohammed’s parents are still grieving over the loss of their son.

“Just weeks ago I was invited to the graduation of Mohammed’s class. Here was his seat,” his mother said. “Mohammed was not there. Everyone was happy but me. I was crying.”

Although it has been one year since her son was burned alive, she is still sadden by his death and almost regrets attending his graduation.

“Mohammed really wanted to finish his studies,” she added. “I can’t believe it’s almost a year since my son died. I still feel like it happened yesterday. Everything went so fast.”

“I don’t trust the Israeli court. I don’t believe they are going to give us our right. Even if they will sentence them, maybe they will release them after a few years.”

“I place the responsibility on the Israeli government for the burning of my son,” Mohammed’s father, Hussein, said. “The incitement at the time encouraged these people.”

“When my son was found in the forest, I was taken by the police for investigation before they arrested the accused.”

“I told four Israeli police heads that they [the suspects’ lawyers] will tell you that the accused are mentally sick. At the time they laughed at me. I predicted what would happen.”

Following their son’s brutal death, they were eligible to apply for “compensation through the court” and could receive up to $1 million, but they refuse to do so. Mohammed’s mother stated, “All the money in the whole world could not bring back my son.”

[Image courtesy of GPO / Getty Images]