JERUSALEM, July 2 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday ordered a swift investigation of the " hideous murder" of a Palestinian teen in Jerusalem, as clashes between Palestinians and security forces erupt across the city.
Netanyahu spoke with Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and asked "that law-enforcement elements work as quickly as possible" in order to investigate who is behind the murder, a statement by the Prime Minister Office said.
Early on Wednesday morning, police found a body of an Arab youth in the Jerusalem Forest. The police suspect the murder was done as a revenge for the murder of three Israeli teens whose bodies were buried in a public and high-profile funeral ceremony on Tuesday, where thousands of Israelis mourned the teenagers passing.
The police are investigating whether the body found in Jerusalem is of Mohammed Abu Khder, a Palestinian teenager resident of East Jerusalem, who was reported to be missing around the same time. The police also received a call from an eyewitness who reported a Palestinian youth was seen forced in a vehicle near Beit Hanina, an Arab neighborhood of Jerusalem.
The case triggered clashes between hundreds of Palestinians and security forces across Palestinian East Jerusalem. Three stations of the light rail in East Jerusalem were destroyed by angry Palestinian protesters.
In Shuafat, youths are clashing with police and paramilitary Border Police since the morning hours. Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesperson for the police, said the police retaliated with tear gas after the protesters were hurling stones and torching garbage cans. Al Jazeera reported that at least three journalists had been wounded by rubber-coated bullets during the clashes.
Police blocked the entrance to the neighborhood of Beit Hanina, after protesters hurled stones at policemen.
Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have soared since Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gil-Ad Sha'ar, 16, and Naftali Frankel, 16, were abducted in the West Bank on June 12 and subsequently murdered. Israel has repeatedly blamed the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas for the kidnapping and launched a wide-scale crackdown on the group, arresting hundreds of Palestinians and storming thousands of Palestinian homes and public institutions.
The murder of the Palestinian youth comes just one day after hundreds of Jewish extremists marched Jerusalem in an anti-Arab rally, chanting "Death to Arabs" and "We demand revenge!" More than 40 demonstrators were arrested for rioting.
In a surge of hate crimes against Palestinians, dozens of extremists laid siege to a pizzeria in Ramat Shlomo, a settlement neighborhood of Jerusalem that employed an Arab worker. Riot police rescued the worker and dispersed the protesters.
Palestinian media reported on Wednesday that vandals set on fire a warehouse used for food for livestock near Nablus in the West Bank. They also spray-painted "Price Tag -- Blood revenge" on the wall of a building. Israeli police reported that vandals also spray-painted hate graffiti reading, "Death to Arabs" and "Price Tag," on the walls of a restaurant in the Israeli city of Ashkelon.