BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The brutal beating of a Baltimore-born teenager at the hands of Israeli police continues to fuel international outrage. That beating was caught on camera.
Derek Valcourt has more on what led to the attack and what’s happened since.
The boy has lots of family in Baltimore but he was visiting relatives in Israel when he got caught in the escalating tensions over the kidnapping and murder of several teenagers.
Fifteen-year-old American Tariq Abu-Khdeir was released from Israeli custody and ordered to house arrest for the next nine days. His face shows signs of the beating he and his family say he endured at the hands of Israeli forces.
“I was actually brutally attacked from the side and heard somebody screaming. They came and attacked me and I went unconscious and I woke up in the hospital,” he said.
Cell phone video reportedly shows the beating. Three soldiers repeatedly kicked and punched the 85-pound teen.
The confrontation came after the funeral for his cousin, 16-year-old Mohammad Abu Khdeir, who was kidnapped and then burned alive. The death is widely viewed as revenge for the recent kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens. The funeral turned into a protest with thousands of mourners and violence broke out as Palestinians threw rocks at police who responded with stun grenades and tear gas.
Israeli police say Tariq was throwing rocks and armed with a slingshot; he and his family say that’s not true.
“Let’s assume even if he does have a slingshot, does that really warrant the kind of response, the kind of brutal attack that was waged against him?” said Zainab Chaudry.
Chaudry is with the Council on American/Islamic Relations, which is calling on Israeli authorities to allow Tariq to leave the country immediately. The sentiment is echoed by the teen’s family in Florida Monday afternoon.
“If your child or your son or your daughter was in this incident, you would want them to come here as an American citizen and receive proper medical care, ASAP,” said his aunt, Sanah Abu-Khdeir.
Some of Abu-Khderi’s Baltimore-area family members will be in Washington for a press conference Tuesday to discuss the incident and what they say US lawmakers should do about it.
Israeli authorities say they have arrested six Israeli men in connection with the murder of his 16-year-old cousin.
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