Palestinian teen burned alive, autopsy shows

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Story highlights

  • Israeli military: 10 sites targeted in Gaza "following constant rocket fire"
  • 16-year-old Palestinian Mohammed Abu Khedair was burned alive, prosecutor says
  • Spokesman for Israeli PM says Israel is aggressively investigating the killing
  • His U.S. cousin was beaten a day later by uniformed men, relatives say

Mohammed Abu Khedair, a Palestinian teenager who was abducted and killed in Jerusalem this week, died from being burned alive and hit on the head with a blunt object, according to Palestinian General Prosecutor Mohammed al-Auwewy, citing a medical autopsy.

Al-Auwewy said the autopsy discovered traces of smoke inside the lungs of the 16-year-old, indicating that it was inhaled while the fire was burning.

Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said his country is aggressively investigating the killing. "We'll get to the bottom of it and catch those responsible," he told CNN on Saturday.

Relatives accuse Israeli forces of beating visiting U.S. teen.

The teenager's death sparked widespread outrage among Palestinians, many of whom believe he was killed in retaliation for the abduction and killing of three Israeli teens. Israeli authorities are investigating who killed Khedair and why, said Netanyahu.

After the Palestinian teen's funeral on Friday, more than 60 people were injured in clashes with Israeli security forces in parts of Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian Medical Relief Society, a group that said it was involved in evacuating injured Palestinians. It said the injuries mostly involved rubber bullets fired at the upper body and chest.

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Israeli police said 13 of their officers were slightly injured in clashes in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, where Palestinian protesters were throwing rocks at police, who responded by firing rubber bullets and tear gas.

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    Masked Palestinian protesters throw stones towards Israeli police (unseen) during clashes in the Shuafat neighborhood in Jerusalem, on July 2, 2014.

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    Clashes erupt after Palestinian teenager's funeral in Jerusalem

    Meanwhile, a 15-year-old cousin of Khedair is at the center of a new controversy that's become an international incident.

    Tariq Khdeir, 15, a high school sophomore in Tampa, was visiting his Palestinian relatives in Jerusalem when he was attacked and detained, relatives told CNN. The family claims that Khdeir is seen in separate videos being held down and pummeled by men in the uniform of Israeli security forces.

    Israel's Justice Ministry is investigating an incident that U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called "troubling."

    Rockets from Gaza get Israeli response

    Khedair's death has raised the ire of many Palestinians in Jerusalem.

    But that city is hardly the only place in the region that's fraught with tension.

    Gaza and Israeli communities within rocket's reach have seen plenty of intermittent violence in recent weeks.

    This comes after Israeli authorities blamed Hamas -- the Islamist militant group that controls Gaza -- for the kidnapping and killing of the three Israel teens whose bodies were found earlier this week.

    Hamas has praised the kidnappings of the Israelis but denied that it was responsible for what happened. It also warned if Netanyahu "brings a war on Gaza, the gates of hell will open to him."

    While it could still ratchet up significantly, the dangerous back-and-forth between the two sides continued this weekend.

    That includes more Israeli warplanes striking targets in Gaza, as well as more rockets being fired across the border into Israel early Sunday morning.

    Israel Defense Forces said in a press release that "following constant rocket fire at (southern) Israeli communities," its aircraft targeted 10 "terror sites" in central and southern Gaza. The targets included "concealed rocket launchers and a weapon manufacturing facility," the military said.

    And on Saturday, Israeli military aircraft targeted a militant in southern Gaza who earlier in the day fired rockets at the town of Ofakim in southern Israel, IDF said in a statement.

    Initial indications suggest that three rockets were intercepted above the area of Ashkelon, the military said.

    At least 14 rockets have been fired at Israel since midnight Saturday with one being intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome above Be'er Sheva, according to IDF.

    Twelve rockets landed in Israeli territory and another fell in Palestinian territory.

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