Bay area teen talks about attack by Israeli police

Tampa, Florida – The Tampa teenager who was brutally beaten by three Israeli police officers is talking one week after returning from Jerusalem where served house arrest.

"I've been happy to see my friends. It's been pretty cool to be home," said Tariq Khdeir, 15.

When 10 News first reported the story on July 4, there were pictures of his badly bruised face and swollen face from the attack that happened a day earlier, which was caught on camera.

"I was zip tied and then they started beating me and it was so ... I couldn't move and all I could do was speak and I was just screaming stop," Khdeir said.

The attack happened as he attended a demonstration for his cousin, 16 year-old Mohammed Abu Khedair.

"I went outside to watch because they took my cousin and I want to know what was going to happen. I want to know if they (Israeli government) were going to take action."

Khdeir's cousin was killed by Israeli extremist in what is largely considered to be in retaliation for the deaths of three Israeli teens.

As the rally reportedly got out of control, police moved and Khdeir was caught up in the melee by police.

He was taken to jail for several hours, but after pleas from his father was taken to the hospital several hours later to be treated for his injuries and then returned to jail.

"He happened to be one of the lucky ones because his beating was caught on tape and he's a U.S. citizen," said mother Suha Khdeir.

After intervention from the U.S. State Department, Khdeir was placed under house arrest and later released.

According to Khdeir, the ordeal has provided him with a new perspective on the conflict in the region and, for him, the treatment of those from his Palestinian lineage.

"I couldn't believe it – is this really happening the things I'd see on see on TV it's happening right in front of me," he said.

While he hopes to get back to his regular routine like playing basketball, fishing and school in a few weeks, he'll devote time to a new mission which involves helping loved-ones in the war-torn area.

"I want to make a foundation. I want to try to gather some people to care for the people over there," Khdeir said.

Khdeir looks physically fine these days, but says he's got internal pain from that beating.

He told us he still hurts in his ribs, has a muscle tear in his back and frequent headaches.


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