The American cousin of suspected Palestinian revenge attack victim was beaten and imprisoned by Israeli troops during protests before the funeral of the Jerusalem teen, Arab-American activists charged.
Tariq Khdeir, 15, who is a tenth-grader in Tampa, Fla., suffered serious injuries in the July 3 beating and is being held under police guard at a hospital, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a prominent advocacy group.
Activists demanded American officials intervene with Israel to win his release — and take action against the soldiers involved.
“It is the duty of American officials to intervene and secure the release of an American citizen who was so viciously attacked and denied medical treatment,” said CAIR-Florida Chief Executive Director Hassan Shibly in a press release.
His parents, Suha and Salah Khdeir, said their son was detained but had been treated at an Israeli hospital.
Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri said that Tariq Khdeir had resisted arrest and attacked officers, the Associated Press reported. He was detained with a slingshot in his possession used to hurl stones at police, Samri claimed.
Tariq Khdeir’s father, Salah, said he witnessed his son’s arrest and insisted the boy was not involved in the violence, the Associated Press reported.
Khdeir 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, Haaretz reported
The incident took place outside the home of his murdered cousin. He is being held under police guard at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.
He is due to be brought before a judge in Jerusalem on Sunday, Ma’an news agency reported.
Relatives of the Florida boy have identified him as being the boy depicted in a video that show Israeli soldiers holding down and beating someone.
Israeli newspapers have reported widespread allegations of brutality and misconduct by soldiers in recent days as clashes escalate.
Tariq Khdeir was born in the U.S. and is an American citizen.
He is the cousin of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, the East Jerusalem boy who was bundled into a car and later murdered.
Palestinians believe that the slain teen was killed by right-wing Jews incensed over the earlier killings of three kidnapped Jewish teenagers. Authorities insist they do not yet know the motive, although sources say they suspect it was a revenge slay by Jewish extremists.
A State Department spokesperson demanded a speedy probe into the case and said a consular official visited the teen in an Israeli jail Saturday.