The U.S. has lodged a strong protest over the savage beating delivered to an American teen from Florida was attending the funeral of his cousin who was murdered in Israel this past week, according to Haaretz.
The teen, identified by the State Department as Tariq Khdeir, 15, of Tampa, Florida, alleged to be the person seen in two different videos, laying passively on the ground as two Israeli Border Police officers punch and kick him before carrying his unconscious body away.
“We are profoundly troubled by reports that he 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.”
“We reiterate our grave concern about the increasing violent incidents, and call on all sides to take steps to restore calm and prevent harm to innocents,” the statement read.
Khdeir was visiting his Palestinian relatives in Shuafat, Jerusalem, when he was detained at the home of his cousin Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was allegedly abducted and then burned alive in retaliation for the deaths of three Israeli teens who were kidnapped on June 12.
Defending the actions of the Israeli police, a spokesperson stated that Tariq Khdeir had resisted arrest and attacked police officers, and that the authorities had discovered a slingshot on him. According to police, other protestors arrested with Khdeir were armed with knives, and that several police officers sustained injuries in a skirmish with them
Tariq’s father said he witnessed his son’s arrest and insisted the boy was not involved in the violence.
The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has called upon the U.S. State Department to demand that Israel immediately release Khdeir.
Khdier is currently being held under police guard at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem and will appear in court on Monday.
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Tom Boggioni is based in the quaint seaside community of Pacific Beach in less quaint San Diego. He writes about politics, media, culture, and other annoyances. Mostly he spends his days at the beach gazing at the horizon waiting for the end of the world, or the sun to go down. Whichever comes first.
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