Israel holds US boy without charge after police nearly beat him to death

Fifteen-year-old Tariq Abukhdeir after Israeli police beat him.


Update, 5 July: US says little recourse

Fifteen-year-old Palestinian-American Tariq Abukhdeir, cousin of recent lynching victim Muhammed Abu Khudair, was brutally beaten by masked Israeli police on Thursday evening in the Shuafat neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem. He has since been arrested and held without charge and denied medical treatment, according to his family and human rights organizations.

The United States Consulate in Jerusalem has informed Tariq Abukhdeir’s family that they have little recourse beyond following Israeli legal procedures, Suhad Abukhdeir told The Electronic Intifada over the phone from Tampa, Florida.

Suhad is Tariq’s aunt and has been receiving updates from Tariq’s parents every few hours.

The electricity in Shuafat is cutting in and out so The Electronic Intifada was not able to speak with Tariq’s parents directly.

Suhad said that Tariq’s father, Salahedeen, spoke to a consular official on Saturday over the phone instead of in person because it is too dangerous to go outside in Shuafat due to a heavy and violent Israeli police and settler presence in the occupied Jerusalem neighborhood.

“When I talked directly to [Tariq’s] mother she said the consulate told them we have to follow the legal procedures here [in Israel]. But there are no legal procedures for Palestinians. Palestinians aren’t considered human,” Suhad said.

The United States Consulate in Jerusalem has yet to respond to a request for comment. Meanwhile the US State Department confirmed to The Electronic Intifada that Tariq is indeed an American citizen and that he was visited by a US consular official on Saturday.

Original post

Fifteen-year-old Palestinian-American Tariq Abukhdeir, cousin of recent lynching victim Muhammed Abu Khudair, was brutally beaten by masked Israeli police on Thursday evening in the Shuafat neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem. He has since been arrested and held without charge and denied medical treatment, according to his family and the rights group Addameer.

Tariq’s family lives in Tampa, Florida and have been on vacation in Palestine since early June. They are scheduled to return to the United States on 16 July. Tariq’s next court hearing is scheduled for Sunday, 6 July.

As photos of Tariq’s horrific facial bruises surfaced, so did two videos that show masked Israeli officers punching, kicking and dragging a handcuffed Palestinian in Shuafat:

Salahedeen Khdeir, Tariq’s father, told The Electronic Intifada by phone from Shuafat that the Palestinian in the video is his son Tariq and that the footage was recorded by neighbors who then released it to a Palestinian media outlet.

Salahedeen says Tariq was visiting his uncle’s house in an area devoid of clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians when he and five other youths were attacked in the yard by two masked Israeli police agents.

Tariq was roughed up the worst, beaten so badly that he lost consciousness. But that didn’t stop the Israeli forces from arresting Tariq and the others without charge and preventing Tariq from receiving medical treatment for five hours.

“Tariq was arrested at 7:35pm but wasn’t transferred to the hospital until around 1:30am,” said Salahedeen. During those five hours his parents were prevented from seeing him as well.

At the police station, Salahedeen came face to face with his son’s attackers, who called Tariq “a tough boy” and claimed he tried to attack them.

Kangaroo court

Tariq’s parents did not see him again until Friday in an Israeli court where the judge extended his imprisonment another 48 hours as requested by the Israeli police, who argued they still needed to question him.

The officers told the judge that Tariq and his cousins were throwing stones, an accusation Tariq and his family vehemently deny. When asked if they had any witnesses to the alleged stone-throwing, the officers said no, Salahedeen recounted.

When Salahedeen showed the video of Tariq’s beating to the judge, he said, she was appalled and asked the officers why they beat a boy who was handcuffed. She also asked why Palestinian youths arrested for throwing stones appear in court with bruises while Israeli Jewish youths arrested for throwing stones appear unharmed.

The officers responded, “When we tell the Jewish kids to stop throwing stones, they stop and let us lock them up. But the Palestinians kids want to fight,” recounted Salahedeen.

“Tariq is scared,” said his father, adding that his son speaks very little Arabic and no Hebrew, making an already nightmarish ordeal even more terrifying for the 15-year-old.

Salahedeen begged the judge to let him stay with Tariq in jail so he so he could check his son’s urine for blood each time he uses the bathroom, as advised by the doctor who treated the boy. This has led his family to fear that he may have internal bleeding. The judge denied Salahedeen’s request, promising that she would personally notify the jail to look after Tariq.

“No protection for Palestinians”

When asked if he expects any accountability or justice for the treatment of his son, Salahedeen said, “No way, this is Israel. There is no protection for Palestinians from the police or soldiers or army.”

Referring to 16-year-old lynching victim Muhammad Abu Khudair, Salahedeen added, “My cousin was kidnapped from outside and got killed after 45 minutes and we gave the police pictures of the kidnappers, the car tags, exactly when and where he was taken and still the police say maybe this is a family problem.”

“He’s a good boy, he’s good in school, he loves soccer, loves music,” Salahedeen said of his son. “This is the first time he went to sleep far away from his home. And where does he end up? In a jail next to the people who hit him almost to death.”

Asked whether the State Department is aware that an American child is being held without charge by Israel, a State Department official responded, “We are aware of these reports but have no comment due to privacy considerations.”

Salahedeen says he has an appointment on Saturday with the US consulate, which had not yet responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

The Palestinian prisoner rights organization Addameer reports that Tariq is one of eleven Palestinians who were beaten and arrested in Shuafat on Thursday, many of whom were minors.

“The continued state-sanctioned violence against children is unlawful and unacceptable,” Addameer stated in an appeal for protests against Tariq’s treatment.

“Addameer urges immediate action and calls on the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United States consulate and all regional embassies and consulates, human rights organizations and journalists to attend Tarek Abu Khdeir’s hearing on Sunday 6 July to investigate the intensified aggression against Palestinian children,” the group added.

US family pray

Back in Tampa, Tariq’s family is praying for him.

“My whole family is in shock,” 22-year-old Ala Kader, Tariq’s cousin, told The Electronic Intifada over the phone from Tampa. Ala grew up with Tariq, who she says is like a little brother to her.

As a Palestinian, Ala is used to seeing horrifying images out of the region whenever the conflict heats up.

“But to see it happen to your own family members in your hometown from thousands of miles away is devastating,” she said.

“It makes your heart go crazy.”

Photo of Tariq provided by the Abukhdeir family

Photo of Tariq provided by the Abukhdeir family




Heaven save Palestine!! Abba please have mercy. They are human beings...


The Israeil's are dispicable! So sick of the news media saying the US supports them.
The people of America do NOT support the Israeli agenda! Maybe the kiss asses in DC do. We need to stop sending $40 Billion of OUR money every year to these crazy people that call themselves "jews".
Why should the American people have to pay these murderers? I OBJECT! They are NOT the "CHOSEN". Lies! Time to bring them to justice for their crimes against humanity! DC - Do your jobs and STOP this corruption!


USA can give $40 million but cannot even be involved with protecting a innocent victim that is born in us


American citizen and minor almost killed by israelies and the US goverment does not act. I wonder what would happen if the perpretators were Arabs. Would the American goverment react the same way? Is the UN going to step up and impose sanctions on Israel or the sanctions are only for muslims and russians?


Your right it was a u.s. Citizen....SO WAS ONE OF THE 3 ISRAELI TEENS THAT WERE TAKEN AND KILLED WHICH SPARKED THIS WHOLE CONFLICT! But we don't want to U.S to react to that do we.


wow ! i can see that you have no kind of education or morals whats so ever. No body said it was OK to kill those 3 kids , but i guess your the type of guy who solves crimes and murder, by killing and hate . The issue here is that Isreal refusal for the simplest procedures which to give the suspect treatment and a lawyer which he was denied.
Also a special treatment considering his young age



As a fellow westerner, I am sick of the inaction.
Americans need to make the stand and boycott Israel.


It is so funny that Palestinians can murder 3 people send rockets all over Israel, but when Israel retaliates they are the bad one's. I am Jewish and I do not support the troops that did this to this teen. They should be tried and jailed...which they may very well be in the near future. But let's not act like Israelis are the only one's performing terrible acts in this region. Palestinians have been bombing innocent people in the region for decades. How do you expect a govt to react after thousands of it's people have killed over the years? I am not saying Israel is right or wrong in some of their decisions, but the Palestinians have to start taking responsibility for their part in this conflict as we'll. It's sad to say, but this will never be resolved. The people of this area on both sides are so archaic in the way they are going about solving this conflict.


Please! Give us a break? The Palestinian Peoples have suffered for many many years under the heel of Israeli barbarity and occupation, it is their right and duty to resist any way they can. Compared to Israeli "might" the Palestinian resistance is puerile to say the least, Israeli reactions are overwhelmingly disproportionate because it is not vengeance they seek but any and every opportunity to slaughter Palestinians for the true purpose of "cleansing" Palestine of all traces that there ever existed a place and a peoples called Palestine. The U.S.A. is entirely responsible, not only for funding this malicious terror, but also because, being the most powerful Nation on Earth, they are culpable for not stopping it, which they could do easily with a snap of their fingers. Look at the U.S.A. record of created conflicts, they spend billions of dollars destroying other Nations, for no good reason, yet they turn their backs on the plight of Palestinian People. So please stop castigating the innocent Palestinians for resisting; and remember they were put in this situation through no fault of their own, they were never democratically consulted regarding themselves or the disposition of their Ancestral Homelands.


israel has killed many children and many women and many
everything for years and year and years


Even before my reversion to Islam I have never trusted the israelie government! They are liars and murderers !!! Ask them about their 1967 attack on a U.S. Navy ship!! They were cleared of any wrong doing. A case if mistaken identity !!! They knew exactly what they were doing! Their bottom line is for the U.S. to back them 100% of the time!!! They are totally evil and they will eventually pay the price for all they have done to the Palestines and the rest if the Middle East!!!??


I support Israel. I honestly feel bad that the kid got beat like that.but when they are throwing fucking rocks at the officers and then try to fight what do you expect? Dont you dare speak for all America.maybe You dont support Israel, but I do..


Do you actually believe that they were throwing rocks ? WHat you guys dont understand is that in the arab world the news always lies. Always. And especially people in power. The cop lied. And even if the 15 year old kid was throwing rocks , your the fucking police not a goddamn mob you dont go armed to the bone and 2 men hit a small boy wtf is wrong with these people. I am personally jewish and from Israel and I URGE THE UNITED STATES TO STOP GIVING AID TO US AND TO OUR DEVIL GOVERNMENT. #ISRAELAGAINSTISRAEL #OpIS #internalisraelirevolution


You are blind....keep being brainwashed by the media...they do that on the week minded people like yourself!


you´re a funny guy , you make me laugh . you write this ¨but when they are throwing fucking rocks at the officers and then try to fight what do you expect?¨

do not like kids fighting for his right.   but even if they are Palestinians. so ¨what do you expect?

an lamb army?


Don't let this outrage pass into oblivion. Write to Obama, your senator, your congressman, newspapers, & whatever. There is a strong case because of the 2 videos. The US embassy will undoubtedly get him released if enough pressure is put on them. I'm going to call "Democracy Now", & so should others.


israel needs to explain themself for this...and obama needs to take action


Of course they are. And they did...
The problem no body care or believe.
No solider can respond to an attack (even thought he is being mortared by lawbreakers stones') unless there are orders. If they did this, this young boy got himself troubled with a big mess.
The images are hard to see and we all wish the war could stop.
I don't blame him (as he is still young and got involved with the sadness of the chaos of the Israeli-Palestinians conflict) and wish for his fast recovery.
But as soon as Israel or should we say "The occupied territories" exist, the Palestinians will continue to despise Israel as the terror organizations inflame them with hate.


Amazing how you dehumanize Israelis. No wonder Palestinians believe it's acceptable (even commendable!) to kidnap and murder Israelis like dogs, when articles like this impress upon your readers how horrible Israelis are. At the same time, you feel no need to condemn or even mildly criticize terrorist actions of Arabs against Jews. And criticizing the Israeli justice system -- the only true one in the entire area (with an Arab judge on the Supreme Court), while the only rule of order in the Palestinian Territories is graft and political corruption, is simply laughable. Of course, I don't expect a site like this to allow such a post which expresses a viewpoint different than their own, to allow the post to be read by its readers (censorship is, after all, pervasive in Arab society).


No one needs to dehumanise Israelis, you do a better job than anyone else could all by yourselves. You go ahead and whittle on about the little bit of decent that still exists in that stolen country you have but you should know, the truth is now out.
The world is getting to the truth despite you controlling all the western media and we are appalled, you might realise I have said nothing of Jews, thath because Jews are not the problem before you point an antisemetic finger at me. I respect all faiths and all genuine nationalities, i do not recognise Israel, until we correct the Israeli problem we created, there will never be peace, anywhere. More and more people are pointing out this obviouse solution, one state- PALESTINE, you cannot found a nation on religion you dumb plonkers.


My research has been done, I have not said anything inaccurate that cannot be backed up by facts -- as opposed to this completely biased article. What is it exactly that you believe I need to research?


You list no facts. You insinuate. You accuse.

You lie.

You say EI doesn't condemn violence. You say there is no other justice in the region but Israel. You say Palestine is only graft and corruption. You say EI doesn't let dissenting opinions post.

You say nothing but the weakest sophism I have ever read, you troll. You need more than just an education. You need morals.


The fact is what was done to the boy (by the israeli system) is not right. And those people need to pay for what they've done and let him out. Even my parents Countrie's government is corrupt but will I support it just because I'm associated with it? No. I love my culture but I will not stand for injustice such as that. If you see that what has happened is wrong with violence, then I wouldn't speak on it if I were you. Have a blessed day.


The simple fact that the Israeli's who arrested them came onto their property with masks over their faces means they were there to conduct an operation the rest of the world would know to be illegal. Which we now know to be perfectly true.
For you to claim the Jewish agents were innocent victims of stone-throwing youths is to engage in the same sort of self-delusion the KKK, Afrikaaners, Nazis, and more recently, the Serbian paramilitaries who slaughtered similarly armed (stones) people they too believed were living on land they had a historical claim to.

All of them were wrong, and you are wrong now.


No wonder that Zionist setters with impunity and with full support from USA murder, ethnic cleanse, torture and rob the Palestinians and while that they are victims of Palestinians.
"Israelis" are colonizers of Palestine and Palestinians have all rights to defend themselves from Zionist 24/7 crimes
The very existence of Zionist colony on Palestinian land from 1947 and even before is an epic crime and should be stopped.
Of course, Zionists use some local quislings to help them subjugate Palestinians, while at the same time blaming them for being not good enough.
Chuzpa is the name of "Israelis" and their supporters.
Of course, I do not expect from Zionists to admit all those facts, but it is worth it to remind them that their hasbara is stale and stinking.
In Palestine it is NOT about "Arabs and Jews", it is about colonized and colonizers.
It is Zionism which started the racist crimes in the land where Jews lived for centuries among all other people free from "civilized" European persecution.
Not mentioning Nazis, who were, by the way, a good pupils of British imperialism and just used in the middle of Europe what the Brits had used all over the world.


In that case if you feel that the content is biased, look at the facts. The photos don't lie. We have a 15 year old boy with horrific injuries, possible internal bleeding (which if left untreated could cause death), held without charge and denied medical treatment.

Even if he has committed a crime, there is no reason why he should be denied medical treatment. However I feel that it is very unlikely that he was 'throwing stones' or tried to fight back.

I would come to the conclusion that this incident alone would be enough to criticise the justice system and the law enforcement. I am not a regular reader of this website, as I have come across this article from social media, so I cannot possibly comment on the validity or bias of the rest of their articles.

It is worrying that the US Gov does not seem to want to help one of their own citizens in such a situation. I feel that if this incident had occurred elsewhere that it would be pubicised a LOT more. Think about it, "15 year old US boy on vacation lynched by police and imprisoned without charge."

My thoughts go out to Tariq and his family, and I hope he gets the medical treatment and justice he deserves NOW.


You see these pictures and read this boy's story and your response is to criticise the site for making Israelis look bad?! Really?!? Whatever your nationality or beliefs, this is a terrible story and those responsible should be held accountable. That is all.


During my lifetime I have interacted with Jews (Zionists) in South Africa and Canada. As I am of Indian ancestry they are more open in revealing their true feelings. Their BLIND HATRED for Arabs is appalling. You cannot reason with them. They seem to have this misplaced hatred from the Nazis towards the Palestinians. It is a dangerous mental illness.


terrorism from a country with power and claiming to be civilized is much bigger than individuals with knives & stones!
it's normal for Zionists to not feel safe because they unrighfully took this land over the blood of the Palestinians & this still happens as we speak.

"An honest Israeli Jew tells the Real Truth about Israel


Bryce Waters you fool if you study the history of this region you will know who has truly been dehumanised, it's not called the occupied territory for nothing! I do not condone violence but I can understand why some Palistinians become radicalised.


What in the world would spark such a comment on this article? When is it okay to kick a nigh-unconscious, already handcuffed 15-year old in the head? It's right out ridiculous to claim that crticising the actions shown is de-humanisation of Israelis.

The Israeli police did not provide any evidence that he did anything wrong. Nonetheless, he have to spend even more time in jail. Lacks in the Palestinian judicial system is hardly any excuse for bias in the Israeli system.

How would you react if this was a jewish kid being beat up by masked, armed Palestinian forces? Please elaborate on how you feel an unbiased article about this specific case should have been written. I'm keen to learn.


Not dehumanize Israelis, just stating the facts. The video is the evidence of that. I don't believe all Jews and Palestinians are bad. Only a small percentage of people are bad. You'll find this in all countries. You should condemn all evil acts, both Palestinians and Jews. The beating was appalling to look at. I just wanted to throw up. The boy was unconscious, and yet, they still beat him. Now that is evil.


As a mother of a young boy who's half Palestinian, my heart aches with sadness to see this. We live in the US, he has same interests as this child. We've traveled back to the middle east, and he's also played with his cousins outside. Like Tariq, he's not exposed to the daily suppression and tensions of this region until he visits, so he's not prepared on how to handle this type of hatred. In the US, for the most part, policemen are the ones you trust to follow the law and protect you, especially at 15. The world is growing smaller, and many palestinians and Israeli children live abroad, and travel back to Palestine or Israeli Settlements to visit extended family, or in the case of the Israeli's, to 2nd homes they've chosen, right in the areas where palestinian families have lived for years on family lands. These children also have a right to visit family on summer break and understand where they come from culturally, without fear of being stereotyped as a trouble maker, and beaten as this poor innocent boy was. Every child has a right to grow up and hope for a world of peace and not suffer from the sins of previous generations. Seeing this story reminds me of how dangerous this situation is, and until world leaders and parents take a stand and stop this, innocent lives on both sides will continue to be lost, or suffer. I would ask the world to stop blaming Palestinians and listening to one sided reporting that's still out there. They don't have the resources or connections to fix this. I can't believe this conflict is still not resolved. It's just unacceptable.


how ridiculous. if this report dehumanizes Isaelis, its because they are acting in an inhumane way. This is a story of how Israeli police apparently beat and detain children, including US citizens, without charge, and yet you would like it spun in a pro-israeli way? How? You say Israel has a good justice system, and yet pre-trial beatings of children by police are ok with you? Really? Perhaps if you don’t like this kind of story, ask your racist police force to stop doing such things. And you have huge blinkers on if you think the Israeli media (and to a large extent the world media) isn’t censored to show pro-israeli propaganda, you guys have it pretty good, bombing, murdering, destroying, torturing, collectively punishing and virtually imprisoning Palestinians and their livelihoods, most of which largely goes unreported in the mainstream media. And rule of order in Palestinian territories is a reflection of the people who control it, not the people who live there, so if a state that is controlled by Israel is a breeding ground for terrorists, there is only one side responsible for that.


Israel soldiers and police are the real terrorists !


As you may not know.................................the agressions to the palestinians are a lot cannot compare having a few simple rockets to having the ultimate tecnology in war arms......................israel is so protected because they know no one wants them in the region...............a palestinian kills 1 and israelis kill more than double in you may also know this phrase brought to you by david ben gurion: "we will expel the arabs and take their place. Each attack in a decisive blow should be struck resulting in the destruction of homes and the expulsion of the population"


Are you stupid?? Did you completely miss the point of this article?? NEWSFLASH, not all Arabs are terrorists, and there are terrorists everywhere in the world, they are not just secluded to that race and region. For you to come to the conclusion that this article was an attack on the Israeli culture is just berserk. It is talking about an American citizen, who was beaten for no sole purpose other than his race. Which is wrong. So before you go writing posts, attacking the writer of this article, maybe you should rethink your absurd and closed-minded thoughts.


"Censorship is pervasive in Arab society" ?!? Wow, I think the lack of reporting on this issue in any other media speaks volumes about censorship in Western society! Its a good thing you weren't censored so people can see how you have brainwashed yourself. Your ignorant comment speaks for itself. There is no proof of who kidnapped and murdered those settler teens and Hamas denied involvement. Here, we have physical proof of a state-sanctioned Army brutalizing a CHILD for the world to see and you are complaining about the Israeli image???


Amazing how you have blatant disregard on the topic, which is the senseless beating of a teenager and held without charge. If this is what you call "true justice system" then I am appalled by your lack of conscience.
The kidnapping and killing of three innocent Jewish teenagers is a disgusting act without a doubt. But what about the retaliation by the Israeli state? Palestinian children don't deserve the same sentiment?
You talk about israelis being murdered like dogs. Look up the facts. Israel is systematically killing and exterminating Palestinians like cockroaches. Some might even call it genocide.
Justice? Peace?


Yea, Electronic Intifada spend the time to write a few pages detailing the death of the three Israeli teens, to add to the piles of articles written in western mainstream media, instead of reporting on any of the 9 Palestinian deaths since the search began, which havent been reported. Good call.


either uninformed or just plain posting distraction.

2 masked Israeli thugs beat an AMERICAN who wasn't throwing stones, wasn't involved in a clash, wasn't fighting back, and was handcuffed while beaten.

All you do is insinuate that Arabs attack Israelis, without backing it up with example.

My god. You are clueless.

You need to read more on a "site like this" to learn what is really happening in Palestine. If you are sincere, which I highly doubt.


Rania Khalek

Rania Khalek's picture

Rania Khalek is an independent journalist reporting on the underclass and marginalized.