Tampa teen beat in Israel has returned home - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Tampa teen beat in Israel has returned home

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Tariq Abukhdeir, the Tampa teen beaten by Israeli police has arrived back in Tampa.

Hassan Shibly the spokesperson for CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations reports that Abukhdeir's plane landed at Tampa International Airport at 10:20 p.m. Wednesday.

Abukhdeir, a 15 year-old from Tampa, was visiting family in Israel when he was arrested and then beaten, allegedly by Israeli police July 3rd.

"We can’t wait all of you know. Since yesterday we are all calling each other, ‘what are we going to do, what are going to do.’ It’s a good feeling to get your blood and flesh back," said Abukhdeir’s uncle Hamdi Swalem.

Israeli police claim Abukhdeir was throwing rocks when he was arrested while attending a protest for his Palestinian cousin, who had been murdered days earlier. Abukhdeir was put on house arrest in Israel for nine days. And Wednesday, he is finally coming home.

"He’s doing a little better, he gets headaches occasionally," Abukhdeir’s mother Suha told News Channel Eight by phone before they left Israel.

The flight left Israel around 3 a.m. Eastern Time. Abukhdeir’s family and friends gathered at TIA Wednesday night to welcome the teen, his parents and siblings as they return from their summer vacation.

"That whole thing, I was just disappointed but thank god he’s with us right now. I’m just going to look for positive stuff right now and leave the negative behind me," added Suha.

"I expect a lot of tears and I’m talking about it right now and I’m feeling… I expect a lot of emotions that joy and sorrow," said Swalem about his nephew’s homecoming. Family has prepared banners and will greet Abukhdeir as his plane lands Wednesday night.

News Channel Eight was at TIA for Tariq’s homecoming. He will be resting at home for the next few days.

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