Jerusalem: Two months after a Florida teenager of Palestinian origin was allegedly brutally thrashed in custody for having protested against the revenge killing of his Palestinian cousin, an Israeli police officer was on Thursday charged for the assault, Israeli Justice Ministry said reportedly.
A 15-year Palestinian-American boy named Tariq Khdeir from Tampa, Florida had come to visit his relatives in East Jerusalem in July when he was arrested by Israeli police for violently rioting against the murder of his cousin, Mohammed Abu-Khdeir.
According to the police, Tariq was he was one of the angry protesters attacking the riot police, and was carrying a slingshot when he was detained.
However, the boy from Florida claimed that he was a mere spectator during the protests.
The boy`s aunt has said that his hands were tied behind his back while the Israeli police were beating him black and blue.
What added to the furore was a mobile phone video showing the Florida teen's assault by the police.
The disturbing mobile phone footage showed how brutally the police kicked and punched the teenager repeatedly in the head, stomach and ribs, knocking him unconscious. The video then shows Khdeir`s face with a heavy black eye and swollen lip.
The video was widely circulated online and by the news channels, prompting the US State Department to call for speedy investigation of the incident.
"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," US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
The boy, who was earlier kept under house arrest, was later released in mid-July and he with his family went back to Florida.
The murder of Tariq's cousin, carried out in retaliation to the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers is also said to be the trigger behind increased Hamas rocket attacks and the subsequent Israeli Operation Protective Edge that went on till 50 days, claiming more than 2000 Palestinian lives and killing dozens of Israeli soldiers too.