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"We are profoundly troubled by reports that he was severely beaten while in police custody and strongly condemn any excessive use of force," the spokesperson, Jen Psaki, said in a statement released Saturday. "We are calling for a speedy, transparent and credible investigation and full accountability for any excessive use of force."
She also expressed concern about "the increasing violent incidents" and urged Israelis and Palestinians "to take steps to restore calm and prevent harm to innocents."
Khdeir’s parents, Suha and Salah, said Tariq was detained but had been treated at an Israeli hospital. They released photos showing his face swollen and badly bruised.
Samri, the Israeli police spokeswoman, said that Tariq Abu Khdeir had resisted arrest and attacked police officers. He was detained with a slingshot in his possession used to hurl stones at police, along with six other protesters, including some armed with knives, she said, adding that several officers were hurt in that specific protest, one of many that day.
Tariq’s father said he witnessed his son’s arrest and insisted the boy was not involved in the violence.
Amateur video of what he said was the beating aired on a local television station, and he said he could recognize his son from his clothing.
The channel that aired it, Palestine Today, is funded by Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad, a militant group that has carried out suicide bombings and other attacks aimed at civilians.
Other footage shows uniformed men dragging someone on the ground.
The face of the person cannot be seen in either video, and the circumstances leading up to the beating are not shown.
Israel’s justice ministry said an investigation had been opened over the footage.
The rocket fire on Beersheba Saturday was the first since 2012, which came during intense fighting between Israel and Gaza militants.
Israel launched a massive crackdown on the Islamic militant group Hamas after the abduction of the Israeli teens, while retaliatory Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli airstrikes intensified. The military says Palestinian militants have fired more than 150 rockets at southern Israel, and it has responded with airstrikes on more than 70 targets in Gaza.
Associated Press journalist Yousur Alhlou in Jerusalem contributed to this report.
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