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Family of Tariq Abu Khdeir, American teen beaten in Jerusalem, speaks out

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WASHINGTON (WJLA) - The family of an American-Palestinian teen allegedly beaten by Israelis is speaking out.

Tariq Abu Khdeir of Florida was reportedly beaten by Israelis while in Jerusalem for a family wedding, and now remains there on house arrest. (Courtesy Photos)

Speaking late Tuesday morning, Tariq Abu Khdeir's family called for the 15-year-old Baltimore native to be allowed to return to the U.S. as soon as possible.

The U.S. teen, who lives in Florida and has relatives in Maryland, is currently on 10-day house arrest at a family member's home in Jerusalem after being detained by Isreali forces just days after his 16-year-old cousin was abducted and killed.

The family says while detained, Tariq was badly beaten as well. Now, his family here is speaking out about the horror they felt when they first saw the video.

"I got the video and I was disgusted and heartbroken and shocked and so many different emotions going through my mind as our family is already mourning the death of our cousin Mohammed," said Zakia Abu Khdeir.

The State Department has called for an investigation, and a border policeman has been temporarily suspended from Special Operations. Still, the family is outraged at the way this teenager was treated.

"Without any due process...that's no justice. There's no justice in that. He's a teenager, he's a minor. He's a minor when it comes to something like that. You're trying him as an adult? You beat him..." said Hakeim Abu Khdeir.

Abu Khdeir had been in Jerusalem for a family wedding. One of his aunts, also an American, says she was supposed to go on the trip as well but was too anxious because of the culture.

Working alongside the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the family on Tuesday not only asked for Tariq to be returned as quickly as possible, but they also demanded the perpetrators be caught and they want action to make sure such an incident doesn't happen again. They are calling for the Israeli Police to be held accountable.

The family says they have also been in touch with the State Department and they say the only positive thing that could come out of this horror is that more people become aware of "the injustice" suffered by the Palestinian people.

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