JERUSALEM (CBS SF) — A Bay Area family is in mourning after a teenage relative was killed near Jerusalem in what many believed was retaliation for the killing of three Israeli students.

The family, spread out from San Jose to Sacramento is hoping for justice after 16-year old Muhamed Abu Khdeir was abducted and burned to death.

The region has been on edge since three Israeli teens—one of them a U.S. citizen—were kidnapped while hitchhiking in the West Bank last month. Last week, the teens’ bodies were found in a West Bank field in a crime Israel blamed on the militant group Hamas.

Just hours after the three youths were buried, Khdeir, a Palestinian boy from east Jerusalem, was abducted near his home. His charred remains were found shortly afterward in a Jerusalem forest. Preliminary autopsy results found he was still alive when he was set on fire.

“I was praying that he died before he was set on fire, but the autopsy shows smoke in his lungs. So he was breathing when he was being burned to death,” Belal Abu Khdeir said.

Despite reports of several arrests, the family doesn’t believe Israeli police are investigating the crime.


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