Tariq Khedeir on his arrival at Tampa International Airport..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – Senior Obama administration officials received Tariq Abu Khdeir, the Florida teenager beaten by Israeli police last summer in northeast Jerusalem, at the White House last month.
The meeting was confirmed by one White House official, speaking with The Jerusalem Post by email.
“The US government has remained closely engaged with Tariq and his family since his return from Jerusalem,” the official said. “As part of the follow- up on pending issues related to his case, National Security Council staff met with the Abu Khdeirs recently.”
Abu Khdeir, 16, is a US citizen of Palestinian descent. The Tampa resident and his family met with US officials prior to a trip to Jerusalem to visit family.
Surveillance video captured the beating of Abu Khdeir at a riot in the capital’s Shuafat neighborhood in July of last year by several Israeli undercover officers, who say he resisted arrest. Abu Khdeir, who was wearing a mask at the riot, was beaten unconscious in the episode, which the US State Department harshly condemned at the time.
Tariq Abu Khdeir is the cousin of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, who was kidnapped and murdered by Israeli extremists in the aftermath of the kidnap and killing of three Israeli teenagers last summer. Three of Tariq’s cousins were also arrested and held over the summer by Israeli police, triggering tensions between Washington and Jerusalem over the treatment and imprisonment of American citizens.