US State Department Condemns Israeli Police Beating of American Teen Tariq Khdeir
Haaretz reports the boy, 15-year-old Tariq Khdeir of Tampa, Florida, was visiting occupied Palestine to attend the Friday funeral of his cousin, 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was burned alive in an apparent Jewish revenge attack for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens by alleged Hamas militants.
Multiple videos show Khdeir lying handcuffed on the ground outside the Jerusalem home of his slain cousin. In one video, multiple Border Police officers are sitting on the boy while another kicks and punches him. The officers then drag Khdeir’s apparently unconscious body away.
“We are profoundly troubled by reports that [Khdeir] was severely beaten while in police custody and strongly condemn any excessive use of force,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.
“We are calling for a speedy, transparent and credible investigation and full accountability for any excessive use of force,” the statement added.
Palestinians, some armed with stones, slingshots and Molotov cocktails, clashed with heavily armed and armored Israeli security forces in the wake of the slain teen’s funeral on Friday. Khdeir was arrested and beaten during the violence.
An Israeli Border Police spokesperson claimed Khdeir had a slingshot and had resisted arrest. His father, who witnessed the beating, insists he was not involved in the skirmish but was only watching it.
Khdeir is being held under police guard at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. He is scheduled to appear before a judge on Monday. Meanwhile, the Israeli Border Police have launched an investigation into the beating.
Meanwhile, six Jewish extremists suspected of participating in the abduction and murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir have been arrested, Israeli security sources announced on Sunday.