Tampa high school student beaten and jailed in Israel

The Palestinian-American teen was visiting family

TAMPA - A Palestinian American teenager from Tampa remains behind bars tonight in Jerusalem.

Video released this week allegedly shows Israeli security forces brutally beating 15-year-old Tariq Khdeir outside a relative’s home Thursday.

Family and friends in the Bay Area gathered Saturday night for a vigil calling for the teen's safe return home.

"If he dies in jail, who is going to care, who's going to be his voice," said Suhad Abu Khdeir.

Abu Khdeir is the aunt of Tariq Khdeir. She says the teen is just your average fun loving American high schooler.

"He plays soccer, he takes selfies for Facebook," said Abu Khdeir.

However, the situation he finds himself in now is not child’s play,

Video released this week allegedly shows security forces punching and kicking Tariq more than 20 times before dragging a limp body away. Israeli prosecutors say he resisted arrest while violent protests raged outside the home he was staying.

His parents are there now,

"You never want to see your son in pain," said his mother Suha Abu Khdeir.

But have been given little information regarding his fate.

“Someone must pay for this,” his father exclaimed in an interview with ABC News.

"Somebody from the U.S. embassy should be there, relaying information to my sister about his medical condition, his treatment,” said an outraged Abu Khdeir. We need to know when he's going to get out, when his court date is."

Saturday, dozens right here in Tampa Bay braved the weather for a vigil along 56th Street and Fowler.

Many didn’t know the teen but everyone there delivered a similar message.

“Free Tariq,” many shouted.

Signs and flags waved as passing cars made their support heard with honks of their horns.

A few days before the alleged assault, Khdeir’s Palestinian cousin was kidnapped and burned to death. Some suggest both attacks are a retaliation after three Israeli teens were found dead in West Bank a week earlier.

"If he gets convicted and gets six months in prison will he have to serve that term,” asked his aunt. “As a minor, just turned 15 years old, brutally beaten,  right now all we want is him to be freed that’s all."

Israeli prosecutors say the video of the alleged attack was edited and does not reflect the extent of the situation.

According to the boy’s parents, he will be in court Sunday morning to determine what happens next.

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