U.S. Teenager Beaten by Israeli Police

Saturday, July 12, 2014
Israeli police beating Tariq Khdeir

An American teenager and relative of a recent victim of Israeli-Palestinian violence has been arrested and beaten by Israeli police, sparking wide condemnation.


Tariq Khdeir of Tampa, Florida, was in Jerusalem outside the home of his slain cousin, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was bludgeoned and burned alive by assailants on July 2. Six Israelis have been arrested in connection with the brutal murder, which they evidently considered retaliation for the murder of three Israeli teenagers.


During the protest over Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s death, Israeli police apprehended Tariq Khdeir and hit him repeatedly until he fell unconscious. The 15-year-old said: “They hit me and they kept hitting me.” A video purports to show the police attack on the teen.


U.S. officials condemned the assault, with State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki saying: “We are profoundly troubled by reports that he was severely beaten while in police custody and strongly condemn any excessive use of force.”


“We are calling for a speedy, transparent and credible investigation and full accountability for any excessive use of force,” she added.


His parents, Suha and Salah Khdeir, told reporters that their son had received treatment for his wounds, which were visible in photographs, at an Israeli hospital. The boy was released from jail on July 5, but ordered held under house arrest for 10 days, preventing him from returning to the United States to get treatment for his injuries.


Israeli police claim the youth resisted arrest and assaulted police officers. However, Israeli officials have a history of brutal response to protests of the country’s treatment of Palestinians. In 2003, for example, Rachel Corrie, an American protesting the demolition of a Palestinian home, stood in front of a bulldozer wearing an orange vest and talking on a bullhorn. She was crushed by the bulldozer. Israeli officials later said she wasn’t seen by the driver, a soldier. In a trial, an Israeli colonel said “During war, there are no civilians.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff, Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Israeli Police Brutally Beat, Detain Florida Teen While He Was Watching Protests over Slaying of Palestinian Cousin: Family (by Stephen Rex Brown, New York Daily News)

American Cousin of 'Revenge' Victim Beaten by Israeli Soldiers (Jewish Daily Forward)

6 Israelis Held Over the Killing of Palestinian (by Isabel Kershner, New York Times)

Israel Doesn't Flinch at Brutalizing Americans Who Stand in the Way of Their War on Palestinians: 7 Gruesome Examples (by Alex Kane, AlterNet)

U.S. Taxpayers Are Subsidizing Defense of Alleged Killers of Palestinian Teen (by Uri Blau, ProPublica)

U.S. Rejects Israeli Government Investigation into Killing of American Citizen in Israel (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)


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