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Name of murdered Palestinian teen removed from Israeli memorial stone

The family opposed the engraving of their son's name in the memorial as it had been placed without the consent of the family
A memorial stone in Hebrew shows the name of Mohammed Abu Khdeir (AFP)

The name of a Palestinian teen burned alive by his kidnappers has been removed from a memorial to victims of terror attacks after family objections, an Israeli official said Wednesday.

Haim Pitoussi, spokesman of the National Insurance Institute, which administers the memorial wall in Jerusalem's Mount Herzl national cemetery, confirmed that the name of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, had been erased.

Speaking to AFP on Tuesday after the inscription, his father, Hussein Abu Khdeir, said his son's name had been placed on the memorial without the family's consent.

"I am Palestinian, not Israeli, even if I am a resident of East Jerusalem, and I do not want his name written next to that of Israeli soldiers," he said.

East Jerusalem was annexed by Israel in 1981, in a move condemned by the international community. Though Palestinians are permitted residency, they are not granted citizenship of Israel.

In previous remarks to Ynet, Khdeir's father had described the gesture as a "great initiative" but ultimately hollow.

"My son is gone, my son was burned and we were burned with him. I want justice and not honour. What good is it going to do me if they carve his name in stone?" he said.

"Mohammed's mother, his brothers and sisters, and I, can't stop experiencing hardships. Our entire life is gone. We have mental problems in the family since it happened."

"I don't forget for a moment that at court, my son's murderers look at me and laugh and enjoy themselves. How would you feel if someone burned your son alive and smiled at court? It made me and his mother sick. We can't leave the house. Every night I think about how he was burned," he added.

The wall is one of two - one bearing the names of fallen soldiers and the other those of victims of terror attacks.

Israel was marking its annual day of remembrance for both groups on Wednesday, with official ceremonies being held across the country.

Abu Khdeir was kidnapped from annexed East Jerusalem on 2 July and his burned body was found hours later in a forest in the western part of the city. 

He was killed by three far-right Israeli settlers in an act of revenge weeks after the kidnap and murder of three teenaged Israeli settlers by Palestinians in the southern West Bank. 

The three suspects are currently on trial at a court in Jerusalem. 

Although a number of Arab names are featured on the wall, it was believed to be the first time the name of a Palestinian killed by Jewish Israelis had been listed.

The vast majority of the names are of Jewish Israelis killed in attacks carried out by Palestinians.

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