Israeli judge releases American teen from jail, places under house arrest

State Department ‘profoundly troubled’ by reports 15-year-old was severely beaten in police custody

A still from a video clip showing Tariq 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.

A still from a video clip showing Tariq 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.

Sun, Jul 6, 2014, 15:17

An Israeli judge today released from jail and placed under house arrest a 15-year-old American of Palestinian descent whose apparent beating by Israeli police in East Jerusalem has drawn US concern.

Tariq Khdeir from Tampa, Florida, is a cousin of Mohammed Abu Khudeir (16) whose abduction and killing in Jerusalem on Wednesday sparked violent protests and calls from Palestinians for a new uprising against Israel.

Many Palestinians, including president Mahmoud Abbas, say the teen was the victim of right-wing Jews avenging the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers, who disappeared while hitchhiking in the occupied West Bank on June 12th, and whose bodies were found on Monday.

Video: 15-year-old's parents call for justice

An Israeli security source said today that six Jewish suspects have been arrested in the investigation into Abu Khudeir’s death have been arrested. The source did not identify them. Israeli-Arab tensions have risen sharply in the wake of the killings.

Israel said today its aircraft had attacked 10 sites in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket strikes, although the government dismissed wider action against the enclave.

A lawyer for Khdeir, a high school student who was visiting family in East Jerusalem, said the youngster would be restricted to a relative’s home for nine days.

A video clip circulated yesterday showed two Israeli border policemen holding down and repeatedly pummelling a masked youth before carrying him away.

A later part of the video shows Khdeir’s face with a heavy black eye and swollen lip.

Yesterday US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed that Khdeir was being held by Israeli authorities and said a consular officer had visited him.

A judge on Friday had ordered him held in custody until a hearing today.

“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,” Ms Psaki said.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Khdeir was one of six protesters caught and detained on Thursday during clashes with police.

Khdeir’s mother said her son was watching the protest and had not taken part. She said the family was planning to return to the United States on July 16th.

Israel’s Justice Ministry said the police internal affairs department had opened an investigation into allegations he had been beaten.

Agencies