The six suspects were Jewish Israelis who came from Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, and the settlement of Adam. They were united, said police, through their mutual following of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer group.
“As fans of the group they knew one another and met at a protest organized against Arabs,” said one Israeli police officer, who briefed BuzzFeed on the case. He spoke on condition of anonymity as many details of the arrest remain under gag order in Israel. “They were, most of them, known to police. They have been engaged in acts of disturbances before.”
He said that the group had been tied to an attempt the day before to kidnap 9-year-old Musa Zalloum from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat. They returned early Wednesday morning, and snatched Muhammed Abu Khudair from in front of his family’s home as he waited for his father to return from evening prayers.
One of the six who were arrested is cooperating with police, said the officer. The suspect revealed that approximately 50 minutes after they kidnapped Abu Khudair, they killed him in the forest west of Jerusalem....
The six arrested in connection with his death are part of a group known as “La Familia” – a collection of several thousand fans of the Beitar Jerusalem team who take pride in their anti-Arab stance and racist slogans.
Last year, La Familia fans were banned from several games after they protested the team’s recruitment of two Muslim Chechnyan players with vicious attacks. After chanting “death to Arabs” and booing the player’s inaugural game, La Familia organized a protest in which they unfurled a giant yellow banner in Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium which read “Beitar Will be Pure Forever” – a surreal echo of the Nazi slogans used against the Jews
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has repeatedly spoken out against the La Familia fans. On Sunday he said Israel would not distinguish “terror from terror,” and promised to prosecute those responsible for the death of Abu Khudair.