U.S. asks Israel to probe beating of American teen in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM/WASHINGTON Sun Jul 6, 2014 10:13am IST

Related Topics

JERUSALEM/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States called for speedy investigation of an incident in which a 15-year-old American of Palestinian descent appeared to have been badly beaten by Israeli paramilitary police during riots in East Jerusalem.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed that the teen, Tariq Khdeir, was being held by Israeli authorities in Jerusalem and said a consular officer visited him on Saturday. "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," Psaki said.A video clip circulated on the Internet on Saturday showed two Israeli border police holding down and repeatedly pummelling a masked youth before carrying him away.

The family of Khdeir, from Tampa, Florida, who was visiting relatives in East Jerusalem, say he was the target of the punches, although the footage is blurred and the victim cannot be identified as he appears also to be wearing a head covering.

A later part of the video shows Khdeir's face with a heavy black eye and swollen lip. He is a cousin of Mohammed Abu-Khdeir, the youth whom Palestinians believe was abducted and murdered by far-right Israelis on Wednesday.

The Israeli Justice Ministry said in a statement that the police investigations department was looking into the incident.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Khdeir was one of six rioters caught and detained in the incident, three of whom were found to be carrying knives.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations in Florida on Friday said Khdeir was American-born and called on the State Department to seek the teenager's release.

(Writing by Ori Lewis; additional reporting by Doina Chiacu; editing by Ralph Boulton and Leslie Adler)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

SCOTLAND REFERENDUM

Reuters Showcase

Islamic State

Islamic State

United States says role for Iran in tackling Islamic State.  Full Article | Related Story 

Syria Strikes

Syria Strikes

U.S. won't telegraph when Syria strikes will begin - Rice.  Full Article 

Ukraine Cease-Fire

Ukraine Cease-Fire

Kiev, rebels agree to extra measures to ensure Ukraine cease-fire.  Full Article 

Seeking 'Fame'

Seeking 'Fame'

North Korea says imprisoned American tried to become 'second Snowden' .  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola lockdown brings Sierra Leone capital to a halt.  Full Article 

New Start

New Start

Sarkozy returns to politics, offers France new start.  Full Article 

Attacks Feared

Attacks Feared

Australian PM cites "chatter" of attacks on government, parliament.  Full Article 

Looming Famine

Looming Famine

Three years after Somali famine, new hunger crisis looms.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage