The White House on Wednesday condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the murder of a Palestinian teenager whose body was discovered in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
Tensions in Israel and the Palestinian territories are high after the killing, which came just a day after the discovery of three dead Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped late last month.
The death of Mohammed Hussein Abu, a 16-year-old Palestian who was found beaten and burned to death, has sparked fears of reprisal killings.
Press secretary Josh Earnest said the U.S. called on “the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to take all necessary steps to prevent an atmosphere of revenge and retribution.”
The White House stopped short of labeling Abu Khudair’s death a revenge killing, though Earnest emphasized that “people who undertake acts of vengeance will only destabilize an already volatile and emotional situation.”
“We hope to swiftly see the guilty parties brought to justice,” Earnest said.