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POLITICS: PennAve

Israeli ambassador calls beating of Palestinian-American boy 'disturbing'

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Israel,PennAve,Joseph Lawler,Economy,Foreign Policy,Palestinians,Gaza

Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer called a video apparently showing the beating of a Palestinian-American teenager at the hands of Israeli police "very disturbing," and said that "excessive force is not something that we accept in Israel."

Bystander videos depicted the the 15 year-old, Tariq Khdeir from Tampa, Fla., being beaten by Israeli officers Thursday during an East Jerusalem protest over the killing of his cousin, Muhammad Abu Khdeir.

Six Jewish men were arrested over the weekend for that killing, which reportedly involved the teenaged Palestinian being beaten and burned alive.

Dermer suggested in the interview on ABC's "This Week" that Khdeir's killing was likely in revenge for the deaths of three Israeli youths whose bodies were discovered in the West Bank earlier in the week.

"We will find and prosecute to the full extent of the law anyone who perpetrated this action," Dermer said of Khdeir's killing, cautioning that it was an ongoing investigation. "A murder is a murder is a murder whether it's a Jew or an Arab," he added.

Speaking in another appearance on "Fox News Sunday," Dermer said that Khdeir's killers "will not be hailed as heroes." He stated that "there will not be public squares named after them," unlike on the Palestinian side, which he said has "terrorists who are hailed as heroes by political leaders of the Palestinians, public squares named after murderers, children who learn to emulate murderers, who are taught to emulate murderers."

Nevertheless, Dermer cautioned that the Palestinian-American Khdeir who was beaten badly was "not just an innocent bystander who was pulled off of a schoolyard," but rather a participant in a riot that involved Molotov cocktails and and knives.

Dermer also situated the tensions over the death of Khdeir and the beating of his cousin amid the background of what he characterized as a terror campaign against Israeli citizens.

"It's not a back-and-forth, it's not a cycle of violence," he said. "What we have is a terror organization in Gaza that has fired thousands of rockets at Israel's cities and that are firing rockets at us today. No government around the world, no country around the world would tolerate the firing of rockets at their cities."

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