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Tariq Khdeir is greeted by his mother after being released from jail in Jerusalem.Reuters

An American-Palestinian boy who was allegedly beaten by Israeli police has been released from jail and placed under house arrest for nine days.

Tareq Abu Khadair, 15, was arrested during protests in East Jerusalem, sparked by the death of his cousin, 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khudeir.

Khudeir was burned alive in what is believed to be a revenge killing following the murder of three Israeli boys in the West Bank, for which Israel has blamed Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

A police spokesperson told Reuters that Khadair was arrested with other five protesters.

However, Khadair - whose attack by two Israeli policemen was caught on camera – denied taking part in the protests, telling reporters he was just watching.

He said he was "speechless" and "very angry" about the beating.

Asked what he would tell the Israeli police officers if he had a chance, Khadair 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'."

Khadair's lawyer said the boy - who is from Florida and was visiting his relatives in Jerusalem when he was beaten and detained - would be confined to a relative's home for nine days.

His mother said the family are planning to return to the US on 16 July.

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed on Saturday that Khadair was being held by Israeli authorities.

The State Department said that the boy and his family should be able to return to Florida this month "if the investigation is concluded promptly".

"We are profoundly troubled by reports that he was severely beaten while in police custody and strongly condemn any excessive use of force," Psaki said in a statement.

Israel's Justice Ministry said the police internal affairs department is investigating the allegations about Khadair's beating.

The attack was captured on a mobile phone by a human rights activist, who then released the footage on the internet. It was also shown on a Palestinian TV channel.

Six Jewish extremists suspected of killing Khudeir were arrested at the weekend.
One of them confessed to the revenge killing, according to Israeli media.

Israeli-Arab tensions have risen following the killings of the Israeli and Palestinian youths, whose bodies were found last week.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would respond to the killing of Khudeir "with a firm hand".

"We do not differentiate between the terrorists," he said. "We will not allow extremists from wherever they come to ignite the region and shed more blood."