Palestinian-American teen jailed in Israel for over three weeks



(JTA) — The U.S. State Department confirmed that a Palestinian-American teen has been held in an Israeli prison for more than three weeks.

Mohamed Abu Nie, 15, was arrested July 3 during protests in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat on charges of rock-throwing, attacking police, carrying a knife and leading protests, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday.

The teen holds dual American and Palestinian citizenship.

“Considering his age, we are calling for a speedy resolution to this case. He is now – this 15-year-old has now been held for three weeks in Israeli custody and has seen his parents only once briefly during that night, and so we are certainly gravely concerned about the detention of an American citizen child,” Psaki said.

Psaki said there are concerns over allegations that the teen has been “mistreated while in custody. We obviously take all such allegations seriously, raise them with authorities as appropriate.” Psaki was not able to specify how he has been mistreated.

Psaki said that a U.S. consular official visited the teen on July 17 and attended a hearing on July 22. The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv also is in contact with his family and his lawyer. Psaki said it took two weeks for him to receive a consular visit, because he did not immediately inform Israeli authorities that he was a U.S. citizen.

“Our role is to ensure he’s being afforded due process under local laws and international standards, and obviously we’re providing all consular access and we’ll continue to be engaged,” Psaki said.

Psaki did not say whether the teen resides in the United States or eastern Jerusalem.

His arrest follows the beating and detention of another American teenager, Tariq Khdeir, during protests following the revenge killing of Khdeir’s cousin, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, in eastern Jerusalem.

Recommended from JTA