Monday, 7 July 2014

Palestinian-American teen walks, others 'rot in jail'

JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The mother of a 15-year-old Palestinian who was released on bail Sunday after being beaten by Israeli police said that if her son were not a US citizen, he would likely still be held in Israeli jail.

If Tarek were not American, "he would just be pushed to the side like a dog," Suha Abu Khdeir told reporters following Tarek's hearing at Jerusalem District court.

"He would have been left to rot in jail," she said.

Instead, Tarek was sentenced to nine days house arrest outside the Shufat neighborhood. He and his family plan to return to the US on July 16.

The teen was arrested Thursday after being beaten severely by Israeli police officers in the Shufat neighborhood of Jerusalem amid clashes following news that his cousin, Muhammad Abu Khdeir, was kidnapped and burned alive, apparently by Jewish extremists.

Video footage capturing the beating emerged later that evening and went viral as word spread that Tarek was an American citizen.

The video, in addition to pictures of the youth before and after the beating, led to a social media outcry and eventually US state department condemnation of the attack.

Suha Abu Khdeir said that the US consulate in Jerusalem had been very helpful throughout the case. more


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