Israeli policeman who beat Palestinian-American teen indicted

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli police officer shown in a video beating Palestinian-American teen Tariq Abu Khdeir has been indicted for assault against a minor.

The indictment against the border policeman, who was suspended in July, was filed Wednesday in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court.


Tariq, 15, was assaulted in an incident caught on video during Palestinian riots in eastern Jerusalem three days after his cousin Muhammed Abu Khdeir was killed in the Jerusalem Forest in what is believed to be a revenge murder following the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens.

The incident occurred while an undercover police unit arrested several masked youths throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at police. Tariq was arrested for allegedly taking part in the riots while covering his face with a kaffiyah and carrying a slingshot. The teen, who was visiting from Miami, Fla., said he was running away from the riots and did not throw rocks at police.

During the police investigation “evidence was found supporting the guilt of the police officer suspected of severe violent crimes,” according to the Justice Ministry.

In a video that garnered widespread attention internationally, Tariq is shown being pinned down by an Israeli border policeman while another office pummels him with his feet and kicks his head. The teen was seen in photographs after his arrest with a bloody face, black eyes and a severely swollen lip.

The ministry’s Police Investigations Department opened an investigation into the incident after the video came to light and went viral.

The incident prompted the U.S. State Department to call for a “speedy, transparent and credible investigation and full accountability for any excessive use of force.”