United States on Thursday said that it’s disappointing that an Israeli riot policeman was sentenced to community service, and not prison, for beating an American teenager on the edges of a riot in East Jerusalem of Palestinian descent last year.
Tariq Abu Khdeir was beaten during protests following the murder of his cousin by Jewish extremists. Abu Khdeir’s cousin Mohammed was kidnapped and burnt to death by Jewish extremists in the summer of 2014. The murder set off months of rioting in the capital.
The Israeli news media said that the court handed down the lighter sentence on Wednesday after taking into account the officer’s expression of remorse, his service on behalf of state security and the difficult circumstances in which he was operating.
The officer, who has not been publicly identified, was charged with assault in September 2014 and was suspended from the force. The video showed him kicking and punching the teenager.
While police alleged Khdeir was an armed and active participant in the riot, he and his family repeatedly denied direct involvement. The teen was placed under house arrest, but an Israeli court in January cleared him of any wrongdoing in the incident.
Pictures of Tariq’s swollen, bruised face made headlines around the world and video clips of his beating drew international condemn by the whole world.