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Inver Grove Heights Woman Mourns Death of Teen Cousin Killed in Middle East Violence

Updated: 07/08/2014 7:40 AM
Created: 07/07/2014 4:19 PM KSTP.com
By: Todd Wilson

An Inver Grove Heights woman is closely watching the unrest in the Middle East. Much of the violence was sparked by what happened to her cousins.

Sitting in her living room, Sherine Mashni points to her aunt and the mother of Mohammed Hussein Abu-Khdeir. Both are grieving the kidnapping, killing and burning of the 16-year-old less than a week ago.

"Why? He's this innocent child," she said.

Days later, Mashni's 15-year-old cousin, Tariq Abu-Khdeir, is seen in a video being beaten by Israeli police after protesting the killing of his cousin. When asked what she would say to the soldiers that beat him, she replied, "I would say, 'Why would you attack me like that? At least try to tell me why would you do that to me if I didn't do anything to you.’"

Police say Tariq was part of a group that attacked the police with Molotov cocktails, but he says he was just watching the situation unfold. Tariq's mother says the beating is "senseless."

"No child should be put through this; he's a 15 year old and he had three guys on him, beating him half to death," she said.

Mashni says the video has rattled her. "My heart wanted to come out of my chest; I couldn't speak, I couldn't do anything," Mashni said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned the death of Mohammed.

Back in the Twin Cities, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas released a statement saying, "We condemn this murder as we did the murder of the three Israeli teenagers by Arab terrorists last week and we extend our condolences to the Khdeir family."

Mashni says Tariq's wounds will heal, but the death of Mohammed will always be painful. So her question to those responsible is, why?

"If you were a father, had a brother or a friend his age, you wouldn't want anyone to harm that person," she said. "Why do it to someone else?"

Tariq is under house arrest for the next week or so then he and his family plan to return to their home in Florida.

Sherine Mashni mourns death of her cousin in Middle East violence.
Photo: KSTP-TV

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