'Burnt alive' youth's American cousin held by Israeli police

Monday, July 07, 2014

WASHINGTON – An American citizen, who was allegedly beaten by police, is being held by Israeli authorities in Jerusalem, according to the U.S. State Department.

Tariq Khdeir, an American citizen, and also cousin of Mohamed Abu Khdeir, the Palestinian teenager who was killed earlier this week, was visited by an official from the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem, confirmed State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki in a statement 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,” said Jen Psaki. 

A Palestinian television channel has recently broadcast footage showing a teenager being beaten following Thursday's clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli forces in Jerusalem. 

The video, broadcast by Palestinian and international media such as the Guardian, allegedly shows Tariq, 15, the cousin of Palestinian teenager Mohamed Abu Khdeir who was killed earlier this week, being beaten by Israeli police.  

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

The Palestinian 17-year-old  Mohamed Abu Khdeir was burnt alive by his kidnappers in a suspected "revenge" attack by Jewish settlers for the recent killing of three Israeli teenagers who had gone missing from a West Bank settlement in mid-June. Their bodies were found on Monday in the West Bank.

"The autopsy showed that Abu Khdeir was alive and breathing while he was being burnt," Attorney General Muhammad Abd al-Ghani told Anadolu Agency.

The official autopsy report was released on Saturday. 

Clashes broke out again in several parts of Jerusalem on Friday between Palestinian youths and Israeli forces following the funeral of the Palestinian teen.

The U.S. reiterated their “grave concern about the increasing violent incidents in Jerusalem” and called “on all sides to take steps to restore calm and prevent harm to innocents.”

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency