US teen's hopes to return after 'beaten by Israeli police'
A Palestinian-American teen left with stitches and bruises from his detention by Israeli security forces said in an interview that he hopes to return one day without incident to the Middle East, where he was beaten while visiting relatives.
Tariq Abu Khdeir, the cousin of a murdered Palestinian boy, said he hopes he could "come back safe".
The US State Department has confirmed that it is aware American teenager Tariq Khdeir is being held by Israeli authorities, adding that an official from the US Consulate General in Jerusalem had visited him today. In a statement, spokeswoman Jen Psaki said:
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.
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.
Tareq Abu Khdeir, speaking via a representative from the US consulate in Jerusalem who was allowed to visit him in the police station, sent a message to his parents: "I am holding up OK."
The fifteen year old, who is an American citizen and attends high school in Florida, is alleged to have been badly beaten by Israeli security forces during violent clashes in East Jerusalem on Thursday.
A video broadcast on a Palestinian television channel is said to show the American cousin of a 16-year-old boy who was murdered in a suspected revenge attack in Jerusalem, being beaten and dragged away by Israeli border police.