Teen beaten in Israel back in Florida

 

The Palestinian-American teenager who was allegedly beaten by Israeli police officers in East Jerusalem earlier this month has returned home to the United States, according to multiple reports. 

Tariq Abu Khdeir, 15, flew back to Tampa, Fla., late Wednesday on a flight from New York, The Associated Press reports

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"I am only 15, but I will never think of freedom the same as I did two months ago," Khdeir said when he arrived. "No child, whether they are Palestinian or Israeli, deserves to die."

Videos surfaced in early July showing Khdeir being beaten by two Israeli officers. One of them was suspended last week for 15 days, but it’s unclear if the other person will be punished.

Israeli authorities accused Khdeir of wearing a mask, carrying a slingshot and participating in protests near his family’s home in East Jerusalem. His family denied that accusation.

Khdeir’s cousin, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 17, was found dead before the beating in what appeared to be a retaliatory attack after the bodies of three kidnapped Israeli teens were found.

Mohammed Abu Khdeir was believed to have been burned alive and his remains were found in a Jerusalem forest. Israel said it had arrested several Jewish suspects.

His death and the Israelis’ deaths are believed to have largely sparked the latest conflict between Israel and Gaza. Israel said Thursday Gaza violated a United Nations ceasefire that was supposed to last five hours after Hamas launched three mortar shells at Israel.