Israeli authorities have arrested six Jewish suspects in connected with the brutal murder of a Palestinian teen.
An anonymous Israeli official told the Associated Press the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, was driven by “nationalistic” motives. No further details on the suspects were disclosed.
Palestinians allege that his death was at the hands of Jewish extremists. He was killed just hours after the funeral for three Israeli teens who were abducted and killed in Palestine.
The teen’s cousin, 15-year-old Tariq Khdeir of Tampa, Fla., was allegedly beaten and detained by Israeli police Thursday. The incident was caught on camera outside his family’s Jerusalem home.
Tariq's family and the Council on American–Islamic Relations in Florida released graphic images of his brutally swollen face.
"We're calling on the state department to do everything within its power to make sure that this American kid is released as soon as possible,” CAIR says.
A U.S. State Department spokesperson confirmed Tariq’s identity and said he was visited by an official from the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem on Saturday.
“We are profoundly troubled by reports that he was severely beaten while in police custody and strongly condemn any excessive use of force,” the state department said in a statement. “We are calling for a speedy, transparent and credible investigation and full accountability for any excessive use of force. We reiterate our grave concern about the increasing violent incidents, and call on all sides to take steps to restore calm and prevent harm to innocents."
Clashes between Israelis and Palestinians subsided Sunday but tension remains. Police said a Jewish woman was attacked and injured early Sunday by a group of Palestinians.