JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli police found the body of a teenager in the Jerusalem area on Wednesday and were investigating a possible connection to the reported kidnapping of a Palestinian youth in East Jerusalem earlier the same morning, a police spokesman said.
The incident occurred the day after Israel buried three teenagers who had been kidnapped near a Jewish settlement on June 12 and whose bodies were found in the West Bank on Monday.
Palestinian residents told a Reuters photographer that they saw a teenager forced into a vehicle outside a supermarket in the Shoafat section of Jerusalem on Wednesday.
Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesman for Israeli police, said police had been notified of a youth “pulled into a vehicle and possibly kidnapped” and roadblocks were set up in search of suspects.
Later “police discovered a body in the Jerusalem forest and were looking to see if there was a connection between the missing youth and the body that was found,” Rosenfeld said.
A security source speaking on condition of anonymity said Israel suspected the youth had been kidnapped and killed, possibly in retribution for the killings of the Israeli teens.
Israel’s Ynet web site said the body was that of an Arab, that it was charred and showed signs of violence.
Dozens of Israelis had protested in Jerusalem on Tuesday night against the kidnap and killing of the Israeli teens, and there were reports some had shouted “death to the Arabs” at one of these demonstrations.
Israel has blamed Hamas Islamists for the kidnappings. The group had praised the abductions but not claimed responsibility.
Additional reporting by Ali Sawafta in Ramallah; Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by Nick Macfie