The Obama administration is involving itself again in the case of an American teen beaten by an Israeli Border Policeman last summer, in a move that CNN describes as connected to Israel-US tensions.
The American cable network reported that White House National Security Council staffers recently took the unusual step of meeting in the West Wing with Tariq Abu Khder, 16, who was beaten by the policeman last summer during riots in eastern Jerusalem on July 3, 2014.
The riots took place during the tension that followed the abduction and murder of three Jewish teens, and a revenge attack in which an Arab teen, Mohammed Abu Khder – who was Tariq's cousin – was cruelly murdered.
Cell phone video showed that Tariq Abu Khder was in custody and lying on the ground, as a Border Policeman kicked and punched him.
"The US government has remained closely engaged with Tariq and his family since his return from Jerusalem," a White House official confirmed to CNN. "As part of the follow-up on pending issues related to his case, National Security Council staff met with the Abu Khders recently."
The meeting took place April 15 as Abu Khder and his family, who live in Tampa, Florida, prepared to return to visit relatives in the Shuafat neighborhood of Jerusalem. Tariq's mother Suha told CNN that Tariq "has changed" because of the beating and may now have PTSD.
Tariq and his mother, Suha, were reportedly accompanied at the White House meeting by Hassan Shibly, chief executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) – Florida.
CAIR and the Khder family are also exploring the notion of a civil case against the Israeli police, according to a CAIR official.