TEL AVIV—Israeli police arrested several Jewish suspects in the investigation into the death of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, a Palestinian teen from East Jerusalem whose abduction and murder on Wednesday touched off a wave of rioting, said a legal group representing the suspects.
A court hearing for the suspects was scheduled for Sunday afternoon, said Honeinu, a group that defends Israelis accused of extremist vigilantism.
Four days of rioting in East Jerusalem following the murder has fanned concern about the outbreak of a new Palestinian uprising. On Saturday, the unrest spread to Israeli Arab towns for the first time, raising the possibility of a front of conflict with Israel’s one-fifth Arab minority.
The statement came amid reports in the Israeli media of a “dramatic development” in the investigation, and that police believed the motive for the killing was anti-Arab nationalism. Spokespeople for the Israeli police declined to comment, citing a court-issued gag order.
Until now, Israeli police officials have said they were also investigating the possibility the murder was the result of a family dispute or an honor killing, upsetting Palestinians.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accused Jewish settlers of carrying out the killing, and said Israel’s government should be held responsible.