An Israeli court, on Sunday, has sentenced to house arrest Palestinian-American teenager, Tariq Abu Khdeir, who was filmed being brutally beaten by police during clashes in Jerusalem, according to an attorney for prisoner rights group Addameer.He will be released to house arrest for nine days, the attorney told Ma’an, with conditions of release including a bail of 3,000 shekels ($877). His family plans to return to the U.S. on July 17th.
He will not be permitted to enter the Shu’fat area and must remain in Beit Hanina.
The news comes amidst reports of US officials stating that they are ‘profoundly concerned’ by the police violence.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the US ‘strongly condemn(s) any excessive use of force,’ in the wake of Abu Khdeir’s case, adding:
‘We are calling for a speedy, transparent and credible investigation and full accountability for any excessive use of force.’
The comments are reminiscent of those made recently, over the deaths of two Palestinian teens killed by Israeli soldiers during Nakba Day protests, in May 2014, just prior to the disappearance of three Israeli settlers.
The soldiers flatly denied that they had used live ammo in dispersing the crowd. Forensics, however, revealed that live ammunition was, in fact, used.
When further questioned about the incident, Psaki went on to express the United States’ respect for the moral character of the Israeli army.
Tarik lives in Tampa, Florida, was born in the US, and is the cousin of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was seized and brutally murdered in Jerusalem, last week.
Speaking to reporters outside an Israeli court on Sunday, 15-year old U.S. citizen Tariq Abu Khdeir from Tampa, Florida described how he was grabbed by Israeli officers and beaten badly on Thursday, in an attack that was captured on tape and garnered worldwide attention.
“I was standing and watching a group of people… and they came from the side of me, and they grabbed me from the side”, the 15-year old said, “they hit me, and they kept hitting me and then I fell asleep and then I woke up in the hospital.” His face was still badly swollen on Sunday and both his eyes were blackened.
In the court hearing Sunday, eyewitnesses reported that Israeli officers initially tried to prevent Tariq’s mother from coming to her son, when they saw that U.S. consular officials were in attendance, they allowed the mother to embrace her wounded child.
Tariq was visiting relatives in Shu’fat when his 16-year old cousin was abducted and set on fire by right-wing Israelis in a revenge attack for the deaths of three Israeli settlers near Hebron. The past week has seen a number of acts of extreme violence by Israeli settlers and right-wingers, following the discovery of the bodies of the three young settlers on Monday. Hundreds of Israelis marched through the streets of Jerusalem shouting ‘Death to Arabs’, and grabbing any Palestinian they found and beating them.
Tariq’s cousin Mohammed was killed on Wednesday morning, and then Tariq was beaten on Thursday and taken into custody by Israeli police. The charges against him remain unknown, but several people present at the court hearing Sunday said that Israeli officials presented no evidence that Tariq engaged in any wrongdoing whatsoever.
Activists and rights groups remain outraged at the lack of response by Western governments, in addressing Israeli violence by both its military and its citizens, as well as Israel’s illegal settlement activity.
Video of Tariq’s beating by Israeli police: