US Cousin of Slain Teen Beaten, Jailed in Jerusalem

State Department asked to intervene on behalf of Tampa's Tariq Khdeir

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 5, 2014 9:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – A Tampa high school student protesting his cousin's murder in Jerusalem this week is now the center of an international story himself. Tariq Khdeir, 15, who is spending the summer with Palestinian relatives in Jerusalem, was beaten by Israeli forces during a protest on Thursday and is still being detained, reports WTSP. "You can see video of them really stomping on his face," says an official with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has circulated video of the arrest and photos of the teen's swollen and bruised face. Police say the video is "edited and biased."

Khdeir's relatives say he was taken into custody near the home of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was abducted and killed earlier in the week, reports CNN. Israeli police say the US teen was participating in clashes, had a slingshot to hurl stones at officers, and resisted arrest, reports AP. “How does a 15-year-old American student end up attacking security officers and rioting with hundreds of masked Palestinians?” asks a police spokesperson, as quoted in the New York Times. CAIR wants the State Department to intervene on the teen's behalf, and a US consular official was to meet with him today ahead of a court hearing tomorrow, reports the New York Times. (An autopsy shows that his Palestinian cousin was burned alive.)

The mother of 15-year-old Tariq Khdeir of Tampa, Fla., shows an undated photo of him.   (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
Suha Abu Khdeir, mother of 15-year-old Tariq Khdeir, a U.S. citizen who goes to school in Tampa, shows a photo of her son.   (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
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One of the videos being circulated.   (YouTube)

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