A teenager who was detained during violent protests over the killing of his Palestinian cousin was granted a conditional release by the Jerusalem District Court pending a police investigation into the incident.
“He was given nine days house arrest in Beit Hanina for the duration of the investigation,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri said, following a hearing at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, referring to a neighborhood of East Jerusalem.
The 15-year-old Tariq Abu Khdeir, who is a US citizen, was arrested on Thursday in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat during clashes between stone-throwers and Israeli riot police which erupted early on Wednesday.
Earlier Sunday Samri said police were asking the court to extend his detention.
Israeli news source Ynet reported that the teen must also post an NIS 3,000 ($877) bond and stay out of the Shuefat neighborhood, where he was arrested.
Twenty other Arab minors were being remanded by police on Sunday morning for alleged rioting.
The teen’s parents have charged that their son, who goes to school in Florida, was beaten by Israeli police during clashes over the killing of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who Palestinians say was killed by Israeli extremists in a revenge attack. The two young men are cousins.
Tariq Abu Khdeir said Sunday he was not involved in the protests and was trying to run away from the violence when he was chased by three members of Israeli security forces, who caught and attacked him. “This is the true face of Israel,” Arab MK Ahmad Tibi said to journalists who spoke to Khdeir Sunday, pointing to the youth’s battered face.
Police asserted, however that Tariq Abu Khdeir resisted arrest, attacked officers and was carrying a slingshot for lobbing stones when he was arrested.
The US State Department said it was “profoundly troubled” by reports of his beating and demanded an investigation.
On Saturday police launched an official investigation into the incident after a video surfaced purportedly showing the beating.
In an initial response, Border Police officials claimed the video was “edited and tendentious” and did not reflect the true nature of the incident. They said the teen had been detained during the arrest of six masked persons, and searches revealed knives on three of them. “During their arrest they resisted and even attacked the [officers],” Border Police said.
Abu Khdeir’s family denied the charges.
Muhammed Abu Khdeir was found dead in the woods last week, apparently after he was burned alive. Israeli officials suspect he was murdered by Jewish extremists in a reprisal for the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank on June 12. Muhammed Abu Khdeir’s death sparked riots in Jerusalem that spread across the country over the weekend.
According to Addameer, a Palestinian human rights group, Tariq Abu Khdeir was arrested without charges, and despite serious injuries to his head and face, the boy was not given medical treatment for at least five hours.