Tampa teen in attack meets with Palestinian president

July 7, 2014 

Despite his home detention, Tariq Abu Khdeir traveled to the West Bank town of Ramallah to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Palestinian-American teenager from Tampa beaten by Israeli security forces is back with his family and attention has turned to investigating the attack. Abu Khdeir, 15, was badly beaten during clashes with Israeli security forces in Jerusalem last week.

According to Israeli police, a policeman had been temporarily suspended while an investigation into the teen's beating takes place.

"Justice has not been served," Tariq Abu Khdeir said. "They still have a lot of stuff to do. They still have to go through a lot of things. We have to let them who is right and what's wrong."

His family members are expected to talk publicly Monday about that beating, which was recorded. Abu Khdeir is spending nine days under house arrest. Israeli police say he resisted arrest, attacked officers and was carrying a slingshot for lobbing stones when he was arrested.

Tariq Abu Khdeir is a sophomore Tampa's Universal Academy of Florida high school and is in east Jerusalem visiting family members. As he returned to them early Sunday, he was crying and appeared badly bruised, with both eyes and his mouth swollen. "I feel better, I am excited to be back home," he said. The confrontation happened during protests over the killing of Khdeir's 16-year-old cousin, which followed the earlier deaths of three Israeli teens.

Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, was abducted last week and his charred body found a short while later in a Jerusalem forest.

Israel arrested six Jewish suspects Sunday in the slaying, and Israeli leaders appealed for calm amid signs the death was revenge for the recent killings of the three Israeli teens.

His killing set off a wave of violent Palestinian protests in and around Jerusalem that later spread to Arab towns in the north. About 50 people were arrested in several days of demonstrations following Abu Khdeir's death, and 15 police officers and two civilians were injured, police said.

Later today, the Florida Council on American Islamic Relations will hold a press conference with the Tariq Abu Khdeir's family.

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