Teen from Tampa allegedly beaten by Israeli police, held in prison

JERUSALEM - The family of a Tampa teen who was allegedly beaten Thursday in East Jerusalem by Israeli police are confused as to what exactly lead to the American boy's beating.

Tariq Khedeir, 15, was vacationing in Israel with his family when they say he and three other boys started to run from an area where tear gas had just been released. That's when they say he was held down and beaten by plain-clothed officers.

A statement from Israeli police claims the boys were involved in a violent disturbance that included hundreds of rioters. Several police officers were reportedly injured during the violence, some by a Molotov cocktail that was thrown at them.

This isn't the first time this week violence has hit the family. According to Tariq's mother, Suha, Tariq's cousin was killed Tuesday after he was kidnapped while waiting for morning prayer to start.

Mohammed Abu Khdeir was only 16.

The family is currently working with American officials to figure out how to get Tariq out of prison. They say police released him briefly to receive medical attention and was taken back to a holding facility.

Suha was born and raised in Baltimore while Tariq's father moved to Baltimore in the late 1990's. They currently reside in Tampa and own a local Mediterranean restaurant.

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