Israeli Officer Indicted for Beating Palestinian-American Teen in July

Tariq Abu Khdeir, who lives in Tampa, Florida, was beaten at an East Jerusalem protest that followed the gruesome death of his cousin.

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
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Tariq Abu Khdeir and the mother of slain Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir in Ramallah on July 7, 2014.
Tariq Abu Khdeir and the mother of slain Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir in Ramallah on July 7, 2014.Credit: Reuters
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

Israel Police filed an indictment on Wednesday against an officer who was filmed beating a Palestinian-American teenager during a violent protest in July.

Tariq Abu Khdeir, who lives in Tampa, Florida, was beaten at an East Jerusalem protest that followed the death of his cousin, 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was burned to death by Israeli extremists in revenge for the killings of three Israeli teens in the West Bank.

Israel said Tariq Abu Khdeir was "taking an active part in the riot," while the 15-year-old denied any wrongdoing.

According to the indictment, the officer chased several demonstrators who escaped the police, when he "recognized the masked plaintiff, wearing a kafiyyeh and carrying a wooden slingshot."

"Meaning to arrest him, the accused chased the plaintiff, followed him over a fence around a construction site, grabbed him and threw him to the ground."

Afterwards, another police officer arrived at the accused's help. "The accused and the second officer used force against the plaintiff to pin him to the ground, grab his hands and arrest him," the indictment read. "After full control over the plaintiff was achieved, the accused began to beat him, punching and kicking his head, face, shoulders and torso. All this occurred while the plaintiff was not resisting arrest, as he was pinned down by the other officer, who handcuffed his hands behind his back."

The accused beat Abu Khdeir until "his lost his senses," said the indictment, and then he and the other officer lifted him by his hands and led him outside the construction site.

"While they were taking him, as the plaintiff's legs were dragging on the ground and his head lolling down, the accused kicked the plaintiff in the stomach," the indictment said. "As they reached the fence, a third officer joined the two to assist in the suspect's apprehension. Then the accused kicked the plaintiff again in the face."

Abu Khdeir was moderately wounded and left Israel for the U.S. a short while after the incident. The name of the accused officer is under a gag-order.

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