Beaten Tampa teen on house arrest in Israel

Tampa, Florida -- He's just a boy, but he's caught up in a struggle on an international scale.

15-year-old Tariq Khdeir has been released from an Israeli jail and is now on house arrest in Israel. This is after his family says two soldiers punched and kicked their boy while detaining him.

"They punched me, they kicked me, they kicked me in my face. They made sure I wasn't able to see anything. I wasn't even breathing," said the teen, who lives in Tampa and was on vacation with family. "They didn't stop. They were carrying me and still kicking me and punching me. Even when I was unconscious."

Tariq's family in Tampa is awestruck at hearing the 15-year-old describe the attack in his own words.

"It's incredible. It's unbelievable," said Tariq's cousin Abdel Khdeir.

Tariq's family says two Israeli soldiers brutally assaulted Tariq, leaving him with a broken jaw, broken nose, and a family that wants him back.

"Our deepest concern, obviously, is getting Tariq home safely and without any further delay," Abdel said.

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Tariq was detained during a protest for his friend and cousin, 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was burned to death just last week.

Now six Jewish suspects have been arrested for the Palestinian boy's death and the U.S. State Department says it wants full accountability for Tariq's assault.

RELATED: 6 suspects arrested; Tampa teen speaks out

"Any time the state department comes out and announced anything against Israel and Israel's policies, that has a lot of people in Israel talking," Abdel said.

After Tariq's nine-day house arrest, his cousin says the teen will most likely be allowed to come home.

"I'm sure he's gonna be welcomed like a hero here," Abdel said.

Tariq's family is set to speak to the media in just a few hours at four o'clock at the Council for American Islamic relations.

Tampa teen speaks in Israel after release


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