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Beaten Palestinian-American teen has no long-term health damage

Tariq Abu Khdeir, 15, gets a hug from his mother, Suha, after he was released from detention in Jerusalem on July 6.

Associated Press

Tariq Abu Khdeir, 15, gets a hug from his mother, Suha, after he was released from detention in Jerusalem on July 6.

TAMPA — Tariq Khdeir, the 15-year-old who was brutally beaten by Israeli police earlier this month, has suffered no brain damage or lasting health ailments, family friends said Friday.

A CT scan performed Thursday showed major bruises on Tariq's chest, back and neck, as well as some eye-bleeding, said Hassan Shibly, the Tampa teen's attorney and executive director of the Florida Council on American Islamic Relations. "But nothing that won't heal with time," Shibly said.

Tariq, a Palestinian-American who attends Tampa's Universal Academy of Florida, was vacationing with his family in their native village in East Jerusalem. But the vacation was cut short after Israeli officials said Tariq resisted arrest and attacked police officers during a protest held before the funeral of his cousin, Mohammed Abu Khdeir. The 16-year-old was burned to death in what Palestinians are calling an act of revenge for the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers in June. Tariq's family says their son did not commit any crimes.

Tariq and his family returned to Tampa on Wednesday. Facing a tangle of microphones, Tariq told a crowd of well-wishers, "I'm only 15, but I will never think about freedom the same way I did two months ago."

Shibly said Israeli forces have since retaliated against members of the Khdeir family living overseas. Israelis went to the home in Jerusalem where the Khdeirs were staying, he said, and ransacked rooms. He said they arrested Tariq's uncle and two cousins and are holding them without charges.

Contact Zack Peterson at zpeterson@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3446. Follow @zackpeterson918.

Beaten Palestinian-American teen has no long-term health damage 07/18/14 [Last modified: Friday, July 18, 2014 11:15pm]
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