Youth beaten by Israeli police an American citizen
A 16-year old boy shown on video allegedly being beaten by three Israeli border policemen wearing black ski masks is an American citizen from Tampa, Florida.
Tariq Khdeir, cousin of Abu Khdeir, who was burned alive by unknown assailants apparently in retaliation for the murder of 3 Israeli teens, is seen in the video being brutally assaulted by three men identified as Israeli border policemen. Tariq Kjdeir was in Jerusalem visiting relatives when his cousin was murdered.
The video does not show what Tariq Khdeir may have done to set off the policemen, although the particularly brutal assault would seem unwarranted under any circumstances. One policemen sat on Khdeir while the other viciously kicked and punched the helpless teen.
A judge sentenced Tariq Khdeir to 9 days house arrest on Sunday for taking part in violent protests:
Police say Tariq Abu Khdeir resisted arrest, attacked officers and was carrying a slingshot for lobbing stones when he was arrested.
Apparently, Tariq Khdeir was not an innocent bystander. But neither did he deserve that kind of beating.
As with any video shot by Palestinian sources, the possibility of disinformation must be entertained. The police have launched an investigation into the incident.
Khdeir, according reports in Orlando, Florida, is a high school sophomore in Tampa, who was visiting his Palestinian relatives in Shuafat, Jerusalem, for the first time in over a decade when he was beaten and detained.
The incident took place on Thursday outside the home of the murdered teenager, said to be his cousin. The Forward quoted the Council on American-Islamic Relations as saying that he suffered serious injuries in the beating and is being held under police guard at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.
Khdeir is due to be brought before a judge in Jerusalem on Sunday, Ma'an news agency reported.
Two videos of the incident were posted online. One was shot by a neighbor and distributed to family and a television station, while the other was shot from the other side of the street and posted to YouTube.
Both show three Border Police officers hitting a Palestinian detainee who is cuffed and lying on the floor. One of the officers appears to be sitting on the youth while his colleague is kicking and punching him. One of the videos shows the officers dragging what appears to be an unconscious detainee away.
After seeing the video, Khdeir's parents told CNN that the victim was their teenage son. Relatives released pictures of the teenager with bruises and swollen lips and nose.
The US State Department called for a "transparent" investigation:
"We are profoundly troubled by reports that he was severely beaten while in police custody and strongly condemn any excessive use of force," Psaki said. "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," it added.
Palestinian teens routinely strap bombs on their bodies and blow up Israeli police, soldiers, and civilians. This has bred a callousness among law enforcement in Israel that makes these kinds of beatings possible. The fact that these are teenage boys is irrelevant; they are considered extremely dangerou and capable of killing a policemen with no provocation..
But there's no justification for the kind of beating Tariq Khdeir endured. One hopes that the government wraps up its investigation into the incident quickly and deals with the perpetrators decisively.