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US Teen Beaten, Detained by Israeli Police

Updated: Saturday, July 5 2014, 10:40 PM EDT

Family members have identified the Palestinian American teen that was brutally beaten by Israeli Police on Thursday while he was visiting on summer vacation

Fifteen-year-old Tariq Abu Khdeir, who is from Baltimore, had recently moved to Tampa and was visiting family in Jerusalem.

In cell phone video circulating around the Internet, Israeli Police can be seen beating Tariq, even kicking him in the head. "They brutally beat him," said Khdeir's mom, Suha Abu Khdeir. "You can see the video of them really stomping on his face"

The beating allegedly occurred on Thursday, only one day after Tariq's 16-year-old cousin Mohammed Abu Khdeir was found burned to death in a forest near his home in West Jerusalem

Mohammed's death sparked outrage between Israeli Police and Palestinian protestors. Tariq was among the protestors, but his family members say he is not violent.

"They were just on vacation. This is a kid just like any other kid here," said Tariq's cousin, Sal Abu Khdeir. "He's out of school, wants to go see his family."

Tariq's aunt, Fatima Khdeir, says she couldn't recognize him in pictures after the beating. "I started crying. I broke [into] tears. I couldn't believe what happened to his face, his mouth."

Israeli Police claim Tariq was found with a sling shot on him and attacked police officers, but his family says that's not true.

Tariq's family members are trying to get him medical treatment and have called on the U.S. State Department to intervene. The department says that it condemns beating and that an officials from the U.S. Consulate has visited the teenager in the hospital.

For now, Tariq's family say they also want justice for him and his cousin, Mohammed.

Israeli police said an investigation is still underway and they have not yet determined who killed Mohammed or why. Palestinians have accused Israeli extremists of killing him to avenge the deaths of three Israeli teens who had been abducted and killed in the West Bank.

AP contributed to this report.

US Teen Beaten, Detained by Israeli Police


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