Tampa teen beaten in Israel coming home

Tampa, Florida – The teenager who was beaten by Israeli police is expected to return to Tampa on Wednesday.

"I can't wait to see him and see the rest of the family," said Hamdi Swalem, Tariq Khadir's uncle. "The friends, the family – we're going to be there just to welcome him."

The 15-year-old Universal Academy of Florida High School student was in Jerusalem and attended a demonstration for his Arab cousin, who was murdered in retaliation for the deaths of three Israeli teens.

Video apparently shows Israeli police brutally beating the teen, whom they say threw rocks during the rally.

Khadir denied the charge and was eventually released from jail and placed on 9 days of house arrest.

While his family told us that they will not be relieved until he is safety on U.S. soil, they have become increasingly concerned about what they perceived as the public silence of Rep. Kathy Castor and Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio.

"We're very disappointed that they did not come out publicly quickly unequivocally condemn the brutal beating they're constituents received at the hands of those Israeli police officers," said Hassan Shibly with the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Florida.

GALLERY: Tampa teen, Tariq Abu Khdeir, beaten in Israel

Castor's office released a statement to 10 News that reads in part: "Our office is assisting the Khdeir family. Congresswoman Castor agrees with the U.S. State Department position announced last week expressing dismay at reports that Tariq Khdeir was severely beaten while in police custody, strongly condemning any excessive use of force, and urging a speedy, transparent and credible investigation and full accountability for any excessive use of force."

Despite admitted behind-the-scenes efforts, those connected with the case believe that lawmakers are not making a public stance against what the Israeli soldiers are accused of doing to a U.S. citizen.

"As a nation that receives billions of dollars of our foreign aid - I think that it's important that the congressional members who authorize that foreign aid hold our ally accountable and make it clear they will not tolerate one of our citizens being brutally beaten," Shibly said



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