(CNN)As the debate about excessive police force against unarmed civilians rages throughout the U.S., the Obama administration is involving itself again in the case of an American teen severely beaten by members of the police force of Israel, a U.S. ally with whom there already exist increased tension.
CNN has learned that White House National Security Council staffers recently took the unusual step of meeting in the West Wing with Tariq Khdeir, the Tampa teenager of Palestinian descent beaten unconscious by Israeli police last summer during a protest in East Jerusalem. According to cell phone video, after Tariq was in custody and lying on the ground, clearly not resisting arrest, an Israeli police officer kicked and punched him in the head and upper body.
"The U.S. government has remained closely engaged with Tariq and his family since his return from Jerusalem," a White House official confirms to CNN. "As part of the follow-up on pending issues related to his case, National Security Council staff met with the Abu Khdeirs recently."
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