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American teen beaten in Mideast back home in Fla.

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Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2014 5:05 am

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Palestinian-American teenager who relatives say was beaten by Israeli authorities is back home in Florida and says he'll never think of freedom in the same way again.

Fifteen-year-old Tariq Abu Khdeir and his mother flew back to Tampa late Wednesday on a flight arriving from New York and were greeted by about 50 cheering supporters waving American and Palestinian flags. The Khdeirs had flown out of Israel earlier in the day.

The teenager said the thoughts and prayers of the supporters had helped him and that he got through the past two weeks because he knew they were thinking of him.

Supporters say Tariq's beating was videotaped. The Israeli justice ministry has said an investigation has been opened into the footage.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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