Abukhdeir is the cousin of Muhammad
 Abu Khudair
, who was burnt
alive by Israeli settlers last year in Jerusalem.  They poured petroleum down his throat and set
him alight in an action whose barbarity recalls that of Isis and the Jordanian
far Israel seems to have done nothing about his murderers, who will almost
certainly receive a light sentence.  Israeli
Police have already tried to suggest that Abu Khudair was killed by his own
family as some kind of ‘honour’ killing.
Abukhdeir, who is an American citizen, was viciously
beaten up by the Israeli Police and but for his US citizenship would still be
languishing in an Israeli prison accused, no doubt, having attacked his attackers.
There are two videos below recording the meeting held at
the US Congress.
Tony Greenstein
Israeli Police Thugs Beat Up a Child – noone has paid
“If there wasn’t a video of me, I would be in jail and
no one would believe what they did to me,”
Palestinian American Tariq
, 16, stated during a US congressional briefing in Washington,
DC on 2 June.
In July 2014, Abukhdeir was beaten
unconscious by Israeli police in Shufat
, a
neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. The vicious assault was captured on
After attacking him, Israeli forces arrested and
detained Abukhdeir and five other youths without charge. Police prevented
Abukhdeir from receiving medical treatment for five hours. Abukhdeir’s cousin, Muhammad
Abu Khudair
, 16, was kidnapped
and burned alive
by Israeli extremists just days
“Where are these soldiers now? Are they doing this to
another Palestinian child? I want to go back this summer and be with my family
and put this behind me,”
the teenager told a packed room in the US capitol
nearly a year after he was beaten. ”But I know that for me to put this
behind me, these soldiers have to be held accountable.”

Abukhdeir’s testimony at the congressional
was part of a three-day series of
advocacy events in early June organized by Defence
for Children International-Palestine

(DCI-Palestine), the American
Friends Service Committee
and the US
Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
raise awareness of Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinian children in
military detention. More than 100 people, including staff from 36
congressional offices, attended the briefing.

Visibly upset
Brad Parker, attorney and advocacy officer with DCI-Palestine,
accompanied Abukhdeir and his family to the congressional briefing along
with Jennifer
, director of the American Friends
Service Committee’s Middle East Program in Chicago. The rights groups are
part of the No
Way to Treat a Child campaign
, which includes a
broad coalition of groups.
Abukhdeir’s highly visible case helped bring attention
to the plight of countless other Palestinian children in Israeli military
detention who aren’t afforded access to the US State
Department, which helped procure the Florida teen’s release from
Israeli detention last summer.
The campaign aims to “target our own members of
Congress, raise the issue, make it local and get people involved in demanding
respect for Palestinian children’s rights,”
Parker said.
Many government staffers were shocked to hear the
specifics of Israel’s violations of children’s rights.
“You could see them visibly becoming upset,” Bing said,
as Brad [Parker] in particular was able to share with them the process of what
happens during night raids, the kind of interrogations, the impact that it has
on families.”
Part of a video
series of the briefing
is below, featuring
Brad Parker, Tariq Abukhdeir and his mother Suha Abukhdeir.
Thousands of children arrested
DCI-Palestine states that “Israel is the only country in the world that
automatically prosecutes children in military courts that lack basic and
fundamental fair trial guarantees. Since 2000, at least 8,000 Palestinian
children have been arrested and prosecuted in an Israeli military detention
system notorious for the systematic ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian
Last summer, more than 550 children were killed during
Israel’s 51-day attack on the Gaza Strip.
Yet, as The Electronic Intifada reported
this week
, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon caved in to pressure from Israel and the US and
removed the Israeli military from its list of serious violators of
children’s rights in an annual report on children in armed conflict.
DCI-Palestine’s Parker said that he sees
opportunities for further discussions between Palestinian children’s advocates
and Washington policymakers.
“We’re embarking on an incremental approach to engaging
on an issue with specific policymakers who aren’t necessarily predisposed to
being sympathetic to the issue, or regularly interested in actually pursuing
anything related to the issue,”
he said.
Following the congressional briefing, Representative
Betty McCollum of Minnesota wrote a
“dear colleague” letter
to US Secretary of
State John
, calling on him to make the “human
rights of Palestinian children a priority in our bilateral relationship with
the State of Israel.”

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation has launched
an online drive
to urge other members of congress to
sign McCollum’s letter.