JERUSALEM — Three Israeli suspects in the vigilante-style killing of a Palestinian teenager who was abducted and burned to death last week confessed to the crime Monday and were re-enacting the incident for authorities, an official said, as the country's leaders raced to contain a public uproar over the slaying.
The confessions came as tensions continued to rise along Israel's volatile front with the Gaza Strip. Israeli airstrikes, launched in response to persistent rocket fire, killed at least eight Palestinian militants. The Hamas militant group vowed revenge, saying "the enemy will pay a tremendous price."
The region has been on edge for weeks since three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and killed in the West Bank. Last week, hours after the Israeli teens were buried, 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir was abducted from outside his home in east Jerusalem, and his charred remains were found shortly afterwards in a Jerusalem forest. His death triggered days of violent protests in Arab areas of Jerusalem and northern Israel.
The Jewish suspects have not been identified, and they remained in custody Monday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation.