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Thursday, Oct 30, 2014
Local News

Teen healing after beating in Israel


Published:   |   Updated: July 18, 2014 at 09:36 PM

— Medical tests show Tariq Khdeir has bruises throughout his body, and his family still plans to take him for in-depth exams to see if he has any damage to his brain, a family spokesman said Friday.

The teenager from Tampa was beaten by Israeli police earlier this month; he returned to Tampa late Wednesday. Hours after landing at Tampa International Airport, Tariq Khdeir was examined at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, said Hassan Shibly, who is representing the family and is the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Florida.

Tariq, 15, still has contusions on his chest, back and head and bleeding near his eye, Shibly said.

“It all should be able to heal,” Shibly said. “He is still very sore.”

The family plans to take Tariq to a neurologist to examine his brain for injuries, Shibly said.

“With brain injuries, you don’t see the symptoms right away,” Shibly said. “We can’t take any chances.”

Tariq, an American citizen of Palestinian descent, was at a protest July 3 following his cousin’s killing when he was arrested, handcuffed and beaten by Israeli police. The beating was videotaped and seen throughout the world. Tariq’s family said he was only observing, but Israeli authorities said he was one of several masked protesters who were throwing rocks at police.

He was sentenced to nine days of house arrest in Jerusalem while authorities investigated his involvement in the violent protest. His family said the teen suffered several broken bones and internal bleeding and was denied adequate medical care during the several days he was held in an Israeli prison. Tariq and his family had been in Israel since early June visiting relatives.

The protest occurred a day after the body of Tariq’s cousin, 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, was found. Mohammed was kidnapped and burned alive in what Palestinian authorities said was a revenge attack by Israeli extremists after three Israeli teens were killed in the Gaza Strip.

jpatino@tampatrib.com

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