The HBO series Our Boys is a new TV miniseries that covers a dark time in recent history. In June 2014, Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrah – three Jewish teens – were kidnapped and murdered. On July 2, 2014, Mohammed Abu Khdeir was killed. The series looks at Khdeir’s murder investigation and his family, including his parents Hussein and Suha Abu Khdeir. Learn more about what Hussein and Suha Abu Khdeir are doing today in the story below, along with the background about what happened. This story will have spoilers regarding the real-life murder investigation and who killed Abu Khdeir.
Autopsy reports indicated that Mohammed Abu Khdeir had been beaten and burned alive in 2014. The suspects said his murder was in retaliation for the three Israeli teens who were killed on June 12. The terrible deaths contributed to the 2014 Israel-Gaza Conflict. On November 30, 2015, two minors were found guilty of Abu Khdeir’s murder and were sentenced to life and 21 years in prison in February 2016. Their names were not released. In May 2016, Yosef Haim Ben David was sentenced to life in prison, Haaretz reported.
The Israeli court also ordered that Ben David pay Abu Khdeir’s family $39,000 (150,000 shekels), Newsweek reported. The minors were ordered to pay $7,700 each.
When Their Son’s Killers Were Convicted, They Said They Would Always Be Heartbroken
Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s parents are Hussein Abu Khdeir and Suha Abu Khdeir. At the time of the convictions in 2016, Hussein told Al Jazeera that although the verdict was correct, it could never bring back his son and he and his wife would always be heartbroken.
He said: “Our hearts are broken forever. My son Mohammed was burned once by these terrorists, but we feel that we are getting burned every day ever since we lost him… We suffer from depression and we cannot go on with our lives because we keep thinking of Mohammed and what happened to him.”
Hussein also believed the Israeli courts, which tried his son’s killers, were racist and dragged their feet on the case, Al Jazeera shared. He said at the time: “If Arabs were accused of terrorism, the case would have ended with conviction in two or three sessions.”
They Wanted the Homes of the Convicted Suspects Demolished, but Israeli Courts Said No
In July 2016, Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s parents requested that Ben David’s home be demolished, in keeping with the policy of demolishing Arab terrorists’ homes, The Jerusalem Post reported. This request was denied because too much time had passed between the petition’s filing and the murder, the Independent reported in 2017. Their petition had also stated that Israel should treat Jewish terrorists the same way it treats Palestinian terrorists, whose homes are often demolished. But the Israeli Defense Minister said that attacks by Jewish terrorists were not frequent enough to require that kind of deterrent.
Hussein Abu Khdeir said at the time: “There is no justice in the court system, which hands down decision according to the directives of the Israeli government. This kind of decision encourages a continued attack on us under the guise of the state.”
In 2018, They Filed a Civil Lawsuit
In April 2018, Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s parents filed a civil lawsuit against their son’s killers, The Times of Israel reported. The lawsuit sought $1.54 million from the three. The lawsuit noted that no amount of money could ever make up for the loss of Mohammed. But the suspects had “no pity for the parents” and “behaved with indifference and cynicism” about the murder.
They Consulted on the ‘Our Boys’ Series
Hussein spoke with the film producers a few years before the series was made, AP reported. He told AP: “(I) gave them all the details I have about the kidnapping and the killing and the court proceedings… I haven’t seen the film or its script. It is too soon to judge it before seeing it, but I hope it will reflect what really happened with my son.”
A member of Abu Khdeir’s family was injured in an attack in May 2019, Haaretz reported. Ibrahim Sawilam, 16, was hospitalized when he was heading to Old City with some of his friends. He said a group of five or six Jewish teens yelled “death to Arabs!”, caught up to Ibrahim when he tried to run away, and hit him. Others joined in, and Ibrahim was hit in the head. He had to be taken to the hospital. Ibrahim’s mother is related to Mohammed Abu Khdeir.