“Vigilantes have no place in our democracy,” said the Israeli PM Thursday evening at an Independence Day celebration at the home of the U.S. ambassador to Israel.
JERUSALEM — Seven Israeli soldiers were sentenced to prison for posting photos calling for retaliation for the murder of three Israeli teenagers.
The military handed down a 10-day term for the soldiers on Thursday after they posted the photos on Facebook calling for revenge for the killing of Gilad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach.
Thousands of Israelis, including active soldiers, have posted calls on social media calling for revenge, including a Facebook page with over 32,000 likes called “The People of Israel Demand Vengeance!” The page was taken down Thursday.
Also Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his condemnation of the murder of a Palestinian teen whose body was found a day earlier, hours after he was forced into a car and kidnapped from eastern Jerusalem.
“Vigilantes have no place in our democracy,” the Israeli prime minister said Thursday evening at an Independence Day celebration at the home of the U.S. ambassador to Israel. “Our security forces continue to investigate the background to the shocking murder of the boy whose body was found in the Jerusalem forest. Whatever the motive may be, this murder must be strongly condemned and we will bring those responsible for this crime to justice.”
Netanyahu continued, “I appeal to all the citizens of Israel and ask you: Please exercise restraint in your actions and words. Our hearts ache, our blood boils, but we must remember that we are, first and foremost, human beings and we are citizens of a law-abiding country. We are making decisions in a responsible, cool-headed and considered manner. The American people, who experienced terrible terrorist attacks on its own soil, empathizes with our fight and we empathize with their fight.”
An autopsy was performed Thursday on Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir. His funeral is set for Friday afternoon after Muslim prayers.
Jerusalem police denied the family’s request to begin the funeral at the Temple Mount, according to Haaretz. Police fear the funeral will spark additional riots and violence.