Trending Topics:

Israel has detained 15-year-old American boy for 26 days; US is ‘gravely concerned’

on 21 Comments
Jen Psaki

Jen Psaki

On July 3, American Tariq Abu Khdeir, 15, was brutally beaten and arrested by Israeli police during a protest in occupied East Jerusalem.

Well it turns out he was not the only American arrested that day in occupied Shuafat. At the State Department briefing yesterday, State’s Jen Psaki says our government is “gravely concerned” about Mohamed Abu Nie’s detention for 26 days. The boy is an alleged rock-thrower and leader of protests, his family has been prevented from visiting him more than once, and there are reports “out there that he’s been beaten.”

The questioner is Matt Lee of the Associated Press, who says he first raised the issue two weeks ago.

QUESTION: Yes. One, I asked on Friday about this 15-year-old Palestinian-American kid who’s been held. Do you have any update on him?

Jen PSAKI: I do. Let me just find that in here, Matt. We can confirm that Mohamed Abu Nie, a U.S. citizen, was arrested on July 3rd during protests in the Shuafat neighborhood in East Jerusalem. The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv is providing consular assistance. A consular official assisted him on July 17th – visited him, I should say – and attended his hearing on July 22nd. The Embassy’s also in contact with his family and his lawyer. 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.

QUESTION: Seen only once by that – the night that he was arrested, is that what you’re saying?

MS. PSAKI: I would have to check on exactly when his parents saw him, Matt.

QUESTION: Okay. Have you – you’ve made this – you made your concerns known to the Israelis on this, yes?

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Have you gotten a response from them? Is there any sign that they are going to act speedily to – I mean, he’s been in custody for – since July 2nd. That’s 20 – how many days is that?

QUESTION: Twenty-six.

QUESTION: Twenty —

QUESTION: July 27th?

QUESTION: Twenty-six days.

QUESTION: Yeah, 26 days.

QUESTION: I mean, is it appropriate for – I mean, well, one, are you aware that this kid did anything wrong?

MS. PSAKI: I just don’t have any more details other than to say he – we did not – just in terms of why we just saw him recently, he didn’t immediately inform Israeli authorities that he was a U.S. citizen. So obviously, as soon as we learned that, we contacted Israeli authorities to schedule a consular visit.

QUESTION: Are you – have the Israelis done anything wrong, as far as you know, in terms of this case? Are you – I noticed that you’re not calling for him to be released immediately. You’re calling for a quick, speedy resolution to the case, suggesting that you’re not sure that the Israelis have acted inappropriately.

MS. PSAKI: Well, 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.

QUESTION: Are you able to give us details of charges he’s facing and what conditions he’s being held in? Is he in an adult prison or is he in a juvenile section?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we understand he faces charges of rock-throwing, attacking police, carrying a knife, and leading protests. We —

QUESTION: Leading —

MS. PSAKI: And leading protests, yes. We are concerned about allegations that he’s been mistreated while in custody. We obviously take all such allegations seriously, raise them with authorities as appropriate.


QUESTION: But do you know whether he’s being – sorry, Matt. Do you know whether he’s being held in adult jail or a juvenile section?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have that level of detail. We can certainly check for you, Jo.

QUESTION: So when I asked if you would – were worried that – if you were – there were concerns that the Israelis had acted in appropriately, that sounds like there is concern, because you say that —

MS. PSAKI: Well, we’re concerned about allegations that he’s been mistreated.

QUESTION: What are the allegations?


QUESTION: What are those allegations?

MS. PSAKI: That he’s been mistreated. I think there’s allegations out there that he’s been beaten, but we don’t have – I don’t have any more details other than the allegations that have been out there.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

Other posts by .

Posted In:

21 Responses

  1. Kay24
    Kay24 on July 29, 2014, 10:50 am

    Really America, do we have such a sick devotion to Israel that we down play or ignore abuse of our kids, or even murder, by Israel? What is this unhealthy obsession with this war criminal, that right now is wiping out Palestinians from this earth.
    How many of our kids have either been killed or brutally abused, and how much longer will we give this pariah nation a pat on it’s ugly arrogant head, make the necessary sounds of disapproval, and let it go making sure it is fully armed to keep doing so? If this was Iran, we would have had a tantrum by now.

    • Citizen
      Citizen on July 29, 2014, 10:55 am

      @ Kay24

      Iran would make a much better ally than Israel. It would make a good arms length ally. Israel is no ally at all, yet drains the US of blood and treasure.

      • Kay24
        Kay24 on July 29, 2014, 5:00 pm

        I agree. Iran has been demonized here in the US by those with ulterior motives and devious intention to make sure the positive side about Iran is never known by Americans. That is why Bibi was disappointed that despite pounding his chest, showing cartoon bombs, the world took no notice of his war mongering and went ahead (like they should be now) and told Israel to jump in the lake. Iran has been cooperative, and the UN is fully satisfied with how they are handling their willingness to comply with them, opening their facilities, and really not much trouble.
        Unlike our dear beloved only “ally” in the middle east.

  2. Citizen
    Citizen on July 29, 2014, 10:53 am

    If he was a Jewish American, Ms Psaki would be very clear. She likes to live in material comfort. So what’s new?

  3. just
    just on July 29, 2014, 10:53 am

    And it just made the news this morning on CNN– first time I’ve heard about it anyway.

    We are being lied to over and over and over again. A 15 y.o. American in custody for 26 days and it’s his ‘fault’ for not informing the Israelis that he’s American. Yeah, riiight. How about arresting Americans who are massacring Palestinians while wearing the uniform of the IOF?

    Thanks to Matt Lee.

  4. oldgeezer
    oldgeezer on July 29, 2014, 11:01 am

    Israel is such a high level security/police state it’s not remotely believable they didn’t know exactly who he was and where he was from.

  5. scott9854958
    scott9854958 on July 29, 2014, 11:06 am

    Gravely concerned…I hope so! Remember the U.S. government threw Rachel Corrie under the bus and wouldn’t even investigate our “special friends” the Israelis. But of course she deserved it, the naive little shiksa!

  6. Citizen
    Citizen on July 29, 2014, 11:10 am

    Chris Hayes, interviewing the 15 year old Palestinian American and his mother. Chris has since then showed his support for his MSNBC Zionist boss who booted out the only Palestinian MSNBC journalist bringing us news about the ME:

  7. on July 29, 2014, 11:51 am


    We saw that the USA would do nothing to help the family of Rachel Corrie, a light haired, blue eyed white American who the IDF killed.

    They will do nothing to help this kid who is, after all, only a Palestinian American

  8. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby on July 29, 2014, 11:55 am

    Israel practice sadism and US like to look.
    Shameful! Why are no one exposing this sick relations Israel/US?!

  9. RobertB
    RobertB on July 29, 2014, 1:00 pm

    Jen Psaki does “damage control” for her Israeli zionist handlers!

    Is Jen Psaki married to a zionist?

  10. Palikari
    Palikari on July 29, 2014, 3:13 pm

    He throws rocks, so he’s arrested. What’s wrong with that? If I threw rocks in the USA or any other country, I would rightly be under arrest.

    The US should not be concerned because Israel arrests a US citizen for committing a crime, but due to the fact that the US citizen has experience in violent urban warfare tactics that can be used in the US against US security forces.

    • chocopie
      chocopie on July 29, 2014, 10:49 pm

      No, if you threw rocks in the US, you would not be in jail for 26 days. Only backwards countries put children of the “wrong” ethnicity in adult prisons for rock-throwing and hold them incommunicado for 26 days.

      Also, dream on but that kid will not be participating in “violent urban warfare” in the US. Palestinians have full equality here and they’re model citizens. Israel could try that, since it works beautifully.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on July 30, 2014, 5:25 pm

      “but due to the fact that the US citizen has experience in violent urban warfare tactics that can be used in the US against US security forces.”

      Holy God, are you stupid, and uninformed!
      I am being forced to the conclusion that Zionists have decided that if they can present themselves as a people completely alien to the human experience, as brutal creatures who only care for each other, they will be rewarded with a country, and a dispossessed helot population to go with it. It never seems to occur to them that some more, uh, final solution might be arrived at for Zionist impunity?

      Oh well, why am I surprised? After all, what could be more important than the Jewish State. Certainly not Jewish lives! After all, people, all of us, will die, sooner or later, but Jewish States live forever, and are worth any sacrifice.

  11. amigo
    amigo on July 29, 2014, 3:34 pm

    I would say that Israel has arrived at the ,”pinpoint” of no return.

    The road behind them has disappeared.

    No left or right turns and ahead a cliff.

  12. ckg
    ckg on July 29, 2014, 3:56 pm

    The names of the five detained on July 3rd during protests in the Shuafat neighborhood in East Jerusalem are Mahmoud Abu Khdeir, 16, Mohammad Abu Nie, 15, Karim Abu Khdeir, 23, Amer Hassan, 32, and Tariq Abu Khdeir, 15. We know how Tariq Abu Khdeir was treated in police custody. We certainly shouldn’t be surprised if the others were mistreated too.

  13. ThorsteinVeblen2012
    ThorsteinVeblen2012 on July 29, 2014, 4:35 pm

    This boy is detained for 26 days.

    But tourists are free to land and then pull up a lawn chair to watch the spectacle of the Israeli military rolling through Gaza.

  14. Kay24
    Kay24 on July 29, 2014, 5:02 pm

    Hamas rejects new truce. I guess they have nothing to lose now, and are digging their heels wanting to fight for their freedom. As usual the civilians are going to suffer.
    What a sad situation.

    • crone
      crone on July 29, 2014, 6:05 pm

      to what new truce do you refer? Finkelstein got arrested today… after making a video which can be viewed at his site…

      Finkelstein says that ANY offer that has ever been made to Hamas/Palestine is a “surrender”

Leave a Reply