UK & World News

  • 6 July 2014, 8:38

US 'Profoundly Troubled' Over Beating Video

The US has said it is "profoundly troubled" by video allegedly showing an American teenager being beaten by Israeli security forces.

The mother of 15-year-old Tariq Abu Khadair told Sky News she is in "a complete state of shock" and Israel's justice ministry has started an investigation.

He is said to have been punched and kicked in a suspected attack by two police officers that was caught on amateur video.

Police say he resisted arrest, attacked officers and was carrying a slingshot for hurling stones when he was held during violent protests.

Tariq has appeared in court where police asked for an extension to his detention.

The boy's family say he is a US citizen and the cousin of 16-year-old Arab teenager Mohammed Abu Khadir who was found dead earlier this week.

Palestinians say Mohammed was killed by Israeli extremists in a revenge attack following the alleged Hamas killing of three Israeli youths. The attack led to four days of violent protests.

Initial results of a post-mortem examination on Saturday showed he was burned alive, according to Palestinian Attorney General Abdelghani al-Owaiwi.

The mobile phone footage - said to have been recorded in East Jerusalem - was released by a human rights group that described it as state sanctioned violence against children.

Tariq's mother, Sohair Abu Khadair, told Sky News that at least one officer did not want her to see her son at the hospital.

She said: "I was in a complete state of shock. I couldn't believe it.

"There was a police officer in front of his room door that didn't want to let me in to see him until my husband had spoke to him.

"And then he finally said 'you can go in, just don't touch him, don't speak to him, don't get near him'. He was handcuffed. His ankles were handcuffed to the bed."

The family claim the teenager will be visited by American officials.

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said America was "profoundly troubled" by the reports and "strongly condemn(s) any excessive use of force".

"We are calling for a speedy, transparent and credible investigation and full accountability for any excessive use of force," she said.

Micky Rosenfeld, national spokesperson for the Israeli police, told Sky News the video was "edited" and "biased".

Mr Rosenfeld said: "It does not represent the events that took place before the actual arrest."

He added: "Throughout the day in east Jerusalem there were hundreds of rioters, many of them masked, that hurled pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, fireworks and stones at our police officers.

"And as a result of that, 15 police officers were injured during clashes by Palestinians.

"The suspect himself was one of six masked Palestinians that were arrested by undercover police officers. Three of them were armed at the time."

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