VIDEO: Family says Israeli police beat teen cousin of slain youth

The family of 15-year-old American citizen, Tareq Abu Khudair, said he was beaten by Israeli border police and is now being held in Israeli detention. (Reuters)

Updated at 8:30 a.m. Sunday with court ordering house arrest

A day after a dramatic video surfaced apparently showing the abduction of a Palestinian teenager who was later killed, another video has been released that appears to show Israeli police beating a youth. His family says the youth is a 15-year-old American who is the slain teen's second cousin.

The family says the Arab-American teen, Tariq Abu Khieder, is a high school student from Tampa, Fla., and is visiting relatives in Shuafat, a neighborhood in the West Bank. The video appears to show officers beating a teen identified by his family as Tariq.

The U.S. State Department confirmed that Tariq was Israeli custody and called for "a speedy, transparent and credible investigation" into the beating allegation.

An Israeli court on Sunday sentenced Tariq to nine days of house arrest. He had been accused by authorities of being among a group of masked Palestinians who attacked police officers. The Israeli Justice Ministry also announced Sunday that it would investigate allegations of police brutality in connection with the case.

Tariq's family told ABC News that his arrest took place on Thursday, the day after his relative Mohammad Abu Khieder was killed. Israeli police dispute the account and say he was part "of a group of six masked youths who were armed with three knives, resisted arrest and attacked the officers."

Below is a photo taken by Tariq's mother Suha Abu Khieder, who was born and raised in Baltimore and was visiting the West Bank with her family.


Suha Abu Khideir, mother of 15-year-old Tariq Abu Khieder, a U.S. citizen who goes to school in Tampa, Florida, shows a mobile phone photo of Tariq taken in a hospital after he was reportedly beaten and arrested by the Israeli police. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Tensions are high between Israelis and Palestinians after the abduction and murder of three Israeli teens, followed by what is widely believed to be the revenge killing of Mohammad Abu Khieder.

On Saturday, the situation became even more volatile when Palestinian news services reported that the autopsy said that 16-year-old Mohammad was burned alive.

State Department spokeswoman Jan Psaki released this statement late Saturday:

We can confirm that Tariq Khdeir, an American citizen, is being held by Israeli authorities in Jerusalem. He was visited by an official from the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem 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.

We reiterate our grave concern about the increasing violent incidents, and call on all sides to take steps to restore calm and prevent harm to innocents.

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Swati Sharma is a digital editor for World and National Security and previously worked at the Boston Globe.
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