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Florida teen beaten in Israel released, to return to US
The Tampa, Florida teenager who says he was beaten by Israeli police is out of jail tonight, still bearing the black eyes and swollen lips he says he suffered at the hands of Israeli police.
Fifteen-year-old American Tariq Abu Khdeir was released without being charged after a video showing the beating was viewed world wide.
Israeli authorities say they're investigating whether excessive force was used, but they insist the young man is not the innocent bystander he claims to be.
His family says this video shows the police in riot gear beating the young teen.
One policeman is pinning him down, while the other repeatedly stomps him, then kneels down to punch him.
Abu Khdeir says, "I was brutally attacked when I was just watching what was happening, and that's it".
An Israeli Police spokesman told ABC News that Abu Khdeir was one of the masked teens in the violent clashes that followed the murder of his cousin, 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir, whose autopsy found that he was burned alive.
He was the victim of what is widely believed to be a revenge killing by extremist Israelis following the recent murders of three Jewish teenagers.
Khdeir says he was only watching the clashes, and that the assault was unprovoked
"... Why would you attack me like that? At least tell me why would you do
That to me if i didn't do anything to you", says Abu Khedir.
The teenager was on summer vacation visiting family with his parents, who were stunned and outraged.
"I couldn't believe it. I could not believe it", says Suha Abukdeir, the victims mother.
Though their son is now free, they said they want justice for the police officers .
Israel's Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, says the video doesn't tell the whole story.
Dermer says, "this boy was one of six boys who had attacked the police with petrol bombs, with molotov cocktails".
Tariq Abu Khdeir will spend the next nine days under court ordered house arrest before returning home to Florida with his family on the 16th.