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US State Department says Israel appears to be targeting family of murdered Arab teen

August 21, 2014 14:30

"members of the Khdeir family appeared to be singled out for arrest by the Israeli authorities,” State Department spokesperson says.

State Department spokeswoman

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf. (photo credit:screenshot)

A State Department spokeswoman accused Israel of targeting the family of murdered Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir in recent arrests.

Following the teen’s abduction and murder in a Jerusalem forest on July 2 by three Israelis, Israeli police arrested his cousin Tariq Abu Khdeir, an American citizen, at a protest on July 5. Tariq Abu Khdeir, who has since returned to the United States, says police beat him while he was held. On July 28, Israel arrested another American cousin, also named Mohammed Abu Khdeir.

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A US consular official visited Mohammed Abu Khdeir in prison on August 14. State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf criticized Israel Wednesday for not notifying the US of his arrest, according to Agence France-Presse, and expressed concern that Israel had arrested members of the family.

“We are concerned that the US consulate general in Jerusalem was not notified of his arrest by the government of Israel,” she said. “We are also concerned about the fact that members of the Khdeir family appeared to be singled out for arrest by the Israeli authorities.”

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