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Florida teen detained in Israeli-Palestinian conflict returns home

Published on Jul 17, 2014 1:28 PM

TAMPA (REUTERS) - A Florida teenager who was detained in Israel and apparently beaten by police returned home on Wednesday, eager to seek medical care and put behind him a summer trip that drew renewed world attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Tariq Khdeir, 15, was greeted by cheering relatives, friends and media at Tampa International Airport. He said he felt good, while bruises on his face that had spurred a probe into complaints that he was beaten while in Israeli police custody, were significantly faded.

Calling his attack by masked police "the scariest thing that has happened to me," Khdeir told reporters he believes his story drew outrage largely because he was a US citizen.

"You only know my story because I am an American," he said. "I am only 15, but I will never think about freedom in the same way," he added.

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