By Mary Bubala

BALTIMORE (WJZ)–The Palestinian teen born in Baltimore and beaten in Israel wakes up on U.S. soil. Mary Bubala reports, the 15-year-old arrived in Tampa, Florida Wednesday night to a supportive crowd.

It was a warm welcome home at Tampa International Airport for Tariq Abu Khdeir.

“I feel really good, I feel good,” he said standing in with a crowd filled with supporters.

Looking healed and happy, the teen who lived in Baltimore for a time addressed his supporters.

“I feel so good to be back in Tampa. I cant even put it in words,” Khdeir said.

“I’m so grateful for the outpouring of love for Tariq,” his mother said standing directly beside him.

The Palestinian-American teenager had just returned from Israel where his family claims he was badly beaten by Israeli authorities then detained for days.

Tariq’s lawyer said the teen suffered head trauma and had to receive stitches on his face.

“I’m only 15 but I will never think about freedom the way I did two months ago,” he said.

Tariq was allegedly beaten two weeks ago during a protest for his cousin 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Kdeir. Mohammed died in an apparent revenge killing after the kidnapping an murder of three Israeli teenagers last month.

“No child, whether they are Palestinian or Israeli, deserves to die,” he said.

Tariq’s family denies he took part in the demonstration. The State Department is reportedly calling for an investigation into reports that he was severely beaten while in police custody in Israel.

His mother says she plans on pressing charges against Israeli police.

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