Israel Transfers Jailed Palestinian-American Boy to House Arrest

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) -

U.S. Protests Police Treatment

An Israeli judge on Sunday released from jail and placed under house arrest a 15-year-old American of Palestinian descent whose alleged beating by Israeli police in east Yerushalayim has drawn U.S. concern.

Tariq Khudeir from Tampa, Florida, is a cousin of Mohammed Abu Khudeir, 16, whose abduction and killing in Yerushalayim on Wednesday sparked rioting and calls from Palestinians for a new uprising against Israel. Palestinians have been accusing right-wing Jews of killing him in revenge for the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Khudeir was one of six protesters caught and detained on Thursday during clashes with police.

Over the weekend, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki issued an unusually strong statement, saying: “We are profoundly troubled by reports that he was severely beaten while in police custody and strongly condemn any excessive use of force. We are calling for a speedy, transparent and credible investigation and full accountability for any excessive use of force,” Psaki said.

Psaki confirmed that a consular officer had visited Khudeir. She said the family was planning to return to the United States on July 16.

Israel’s Justice Ministry said the police internal affairs department had opened an investigation.