Official: 'You cannot beat up a suspect'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE’s spokesman said Monday that, if Israeli security forces beat a Palestinian-American teen, they would be punished. 

On CNN’s “New Day,” Mark Regev called a video showing Israeli police beating the boy “shocking.”

“If it is proven that the police acted in a way that unfortunately the video indicates, that we suspect they did, they will have to pay a price. That is unacceptable. In Israel, you cannot beat up a suspect,” Regev said. 


Based on the video, the Israeli Ministry of Justice has launched an external independent investigation into the beating, Regev said, adding that it’s not an internal police investigation.

The teen, Tariq Abu Khdeir, 15, is from Florida and was released from police custody but remains under house arrest in East Jerusalem for nine days. The Israeli security forces alleged that Khdeir participated in violent protests, but his family has denied that accusation.

On Sunday, the State Department said it was “profoundly troubled” by reports of the teen being severely beaten and demanded an immediate investigation.

Spokesman Jen Psaki said the U.S. consulate general in Jerusalem visited the teen on Sunday.

“If the investigation is concluded promptly, Mr. Khdeir should be able to return to Florida as planned with his family later this month," she said. 

Khdeir’s cousin, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 17, was found dead last week soon after the three bodies of the kidnapped Israeli teens were buried.

Khdeir was believed to be burned alive, based on preliminary autopsy results. His remains were found in a forest in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu called Khdeir’s family on Monday to express condolences and tell them that the perpetrators don’t represent Israel or the Jewish people.

Israel arrested six Jewish suspects on Sunday in connection with Khdeir’s abduction and murder.

Regev said Israel has not yet found the killers of the three Jewish teens, and said the Palestinian Authority has “an obligation to helping us.”

Regev said the Palestinian Authority signing a political pact with Hamas made these tragedies “more likely and more possible.”