Israeli political and religious leaders of all stripes have forcefully condemned last week's brutal murder of a Palestinian teenager in an apparent revenge attack.
Three Israelis reportedly confessed Monday to kidnapping and killing 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, re-enacting the crime in which the teen was burned alive. Witnesses saw Abu Khdeir thrown into a car with Israeli tags Wednesday. His body was found badly burned in a Jerusalem forest.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Abu Khdeir's father, describing the murder as "abhorrent" and "reprehensible."
"We acted immediately to apprehend the murderers," he said. "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."
Israel's leading rabbis, meanwhile, said the murder violated tenets of Jewish law.
Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef "fiercely denounce[d] the outrageous murder that was perpetrated against the innocent young man," his office said. Elyakim Levanon, a prominent rabbi among West Bank settlers, said Jewish law demands capital punishment for "such a cruel murder."
The Barkai Center for Practical Rabbinics, which trains communal rabbis, said that "revenge has absolutely no place in Judaism and that there is no such thing as murder in the name of God."
The Investigative Project on Terrorism joins in those condemnations. Abu Khdeir's murder was a heinous crime, every bit as evil as the Hamas killing of three Israeli teens – the incident which allegedly prompted this revenge attack.
"In the state of Israel, there is no difference between blood and blood," wrote outgoing and incoming Israeli presidents Shimon Peres and Reuven Rivlin in an Israeli newspaper column.
These unified expressions of horror and revulsion do show a difference in how Israeli and Palestinian societies react to terrorist violence. When teenagers Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel, were kidnapped, Palestinian social media responded with mocking images of people holding up three fingers and hoping the boys would be used as trade-bait for Palestinians in Israeli prisons.
Meanwhile, as Palestinian Media Watch reported Monday, the Fatah Facebook page featured two direct threats of mass killing against Israelis.
"Sons of Zion, this is an oath to the Lord of the Heavens: Prepare all the bags you can for your body parts," a post seen Monday said. Fatah is the party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and the primary power in the West Bank.
Netanyahu made a point of calling attention to this kind of incitement, which is common from the PA. "That is how we are different from our neighbors," he said. "Their murderers are hailed as heroes and public squares are named in their honor."
In the West Bank, dozens of public institutions, including a girls' school, a summer camp and other youth-oriented buildings, are named for Dalal Mughrabi, who led a team which hijacked a bus on Israel's coastal highway in 1978, killing 38 civilians – 13 of whom were children.