Tariqu Abu Khdeir returned to cheers and hugs from his family and friends at Tampa Internatonal Airport after 10 p.m. Wednesday. “It feels so good to be back in Tampa,” Khdeir told news media and supporters at the airport. The Palestinian American teenager was vacationing with his parents in Jerusalem when he was arrested and beaten by Israeli police. After the incident, Khdeir was on house arrest for nine days before boarding the return flight to Tampa. The police attack, which was videotaped and went viral, sparked outrage here and internationally. Israeli authorities accused the teenager of resisting arrest and throwing rocks during a protest of his 16-year-old cousin’s murder. His family claims Khdeir was observing the protest.
“I’m only 15, but I will never think about freedom the same way I did 2 months ago,” Khdeir said Wednesday night.
The Tampa Bay Times reports Khdeir will see a medical doctor today for treatment and tests to see if the teenager suffered any lingering injuries from the police beating.