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US presses Israel to free teen citizen

The United States renews calls on Israel to free a 15-year-old US citizen of Palestinian heritage who has been held for five weeks for alleged rock-throwing.

A US consular officer on July 31 visited Mohammed Abu Nie, who has dual American and Palestinian citizenship and was arrested in East Jerusalem on July 3, the State Department says.

“This 15-year old has now been held for five weeks in Israeli custody, and (we) are gravely concerned over the prolonged detention of this US citizen and child,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf tells reporters.

The State Department says that the boy was charged with rock-throwing, carrying a knife and leading a protest amid the outbreak of tension in the region.

In an earlier public statement, the United States voiced concern that the teenager has been mistreated in custody.

– AFP

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