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Tariq Abu Khdeir Welcomed Home

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WUSF News

Tariq Abu Khdeir, the Palestinian-American teen who was beaten and detained by Israeli police earlier this month, returned home last night after being released from house arrest in East Jerusalem. Abu Khdeir was met with loud cheers from friends and family as he walked through the terminal at Tampa International Airport around 10:30 p.m. His face no longer bears the marks of his beating by Israeli police, but the fifteen-year-old said that he remains burdened by the stories of those unable to escape the violence, and hopes that Americans will too.

"I want to ask you all to please remember my cousin Mohammed and the 36 kids that have died in Gaza over the past several days. They have names like mine. I hope the violence will stop for their sake. No child, whether they are Palestinian or Israeli, deserves to die that way."

Abu Khdeir's mother called the experience a "nightmare" in which she feared for her son's life. Tariq said he is excited to return to his favorite pastimes of fishing and playing with friends, but that he will never look at freedom the same way again.