World Bulletin/News Desk
An Israeli judge on Sunday 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 U.S. concern.
Tariq Khdeir from Tampa, Florida, is a cousin of Mohammed Abu Khudeir, 16, whose abduction and killing in Jerusalem on Wednesday sparked 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 12, and whose bodies were found on Monday.
An Israeli security source said on Sunday that six Jewish suspects have been arrested in the investigation into Abu Khudeir's death have been arrested. The source did not identify them.
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 on the Internet on Saturday 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.
On Saturday, U.S. 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 on Sunday.
"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," 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 told Reuters 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 16.
US teen says was brutally attacked
Tariq Abu Khadeer insisted that he did not throw stones at Israeli troops and was simply trying to escape when caught and badly beaten by Israeli policemen.
"I didn't throw stones, I was trying to run away," Tariq told reporters shortly after his release from Israeli police custody.
"I was brutally attacked by Israeli police in Shuafat. I saw three people hitting me," he added.
His father Salah urged U.S. President Barak Obama to intervene.
"I am asking for Obama, as Tariq is an American citizen, to say something against what happened to Tariq and his cousin," he told reporters.
Tension has mounted since three Israeli settlers who went missing in June were found dead last week near the West Bank city of Hebron.
In the three weeks since the settlers' initial disappearance, Israel has rounded up hundreds of West Bank Palestinians, including lawmakers, former cabinet ministers and senior Hamas members.
No Palestinian group has claimed responsibility for the settlers' disappearance or subsequent death.
Last Mod: 06 Temmuz 2014, 16:34