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Israeli army court orders Ahed Tamimi imprisoned for five more days

The Palestinian teenager from Nabi Saleh was arrested after being filmed confronting Israeli soldiers outside her home. Israeli forces have since arrested her mother and an another relative; her father Bassem received a summons while in court.

By Oren Ziv and Yael Marom


Ahed Tamimi in the Ofer prison military court. December 20, 2017. (Oren Ziv/Activestills)

The Israeli army’s Ofer Military Court extended by five days the detention of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teen who was arrested for confronting Israeli soldiers outside her home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. Video of the confrontation made headlines around the world. Police had asked the court to extend Ahed’s detention by 10 days.

Attorney Gaby Lasky, who is representing Ahed Tamimi, argued that even if the police intend to continue their investigation against her client, it is unnecessary to keep Ahed in prison.

“The police claim this is a unique incident carried out shamelessly and spitefully. But obviously neither shamelessness nor spite justify imprisonment,” Lasky said. “Israeli hilltop youth (settlers) have engaged in similar behavior and the police and the army chose not to arrest them or to consider their behavior such that requires keeping a minor under arrest.”

Lasky also criticized the manner in which Tamimi was arrested, as well as the request by the police to carry out the hearing behind closed doors. “Given that the incident in question occurred during the day, it would have been possible to carry out the arrest during the time of the incident or a few hours later. Instead, the army and the police chose to carry out an illegal, offensive, nighttime raid.”

“It is unacceptable that the military authorities decided to video-tape the arrest of a minor and send the clip to media outlets as punishment,” Lasky said of the state’s request to hold the hearing behind closed doors. “Now the police are suddenly worried about protecting the rights of a minor […] It seems that this is all to prevent anyone from seeing what happens inside the courtroom.”

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Israeli Border Police officers arrested Ahed in a night-time raid on the Tamimi family home in the early  hours of Tuesday. Her mother, Nariman, was arrested while accompanying Ahed to an Israeli police station.

Tuesday night, Nur Tamimi, a relative of Ahed’s who appeared alongside her in the now-famous video, was arrested as well.

Fifteen-year-old Mohammed Tamimi, also a relative of Ahed’s, remains hospitalized after Israeli troops shot him in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet during a protest in Nabi Saleh on Friday. He has been unconscious for a number of days.

During the military court hearing on Wednesday, a police representative said that Ahed’s father, Bassem Tamimi, will also be called in for an investigation Thursday morning.

Bassem Tamimi said on Wednesday that he is proud of his daughter and worried about her. “I don’t trust this court because it is a component of the occupation — it helps the occupation and the occupier,” Tamimi said. “It is used to give legitimacy to the arrest of Ahed, the child.”

Nothing that in addition to his wife and daughter both having been arrested, he also received a summons to be interrogated, Bassem added: “I ask that they keep us all together, so that we can remain together as a family in jail.”

The village of Nabi Saleh began weekly demonstrations against the occupation in 2009 following a takeover of the village’s natural spring by settlers from the adjacent settlement of Halamish. The army has since to deployed troops on a weekly basis to prevent the demonstrators from reaching the spring or the road used by the settlers.

Every protest by the residents of Nabi Saleh, and any Palestinian in the West Bank, is illegal under Israeli military law in the occupied territory. The army regularly suppresses Palestinian nonviolent and unarmed protests with tear gas, rubber-coated bullets, live fire, and other means of crowd dispersal.

In December 2011, Mustafa Tamimi was killed during a protest in the village when he an Israeli soldier shot him in the face with a tear gas canister at close range. One year later, Israeli soldiers shot and killed Rashadi Tamimi in the village.

Oren Ziv is a photojournalist with Activestills. Yael Marom is Just Vision’s public engagement manager in Israel and a co-editor of Local Call, where this article also appears in Hebrew. Read it here.

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      • Ben

        But as Simone Zimmerman makes clear, it’s more complicated than that. All *nonviolent* protest has always been met by the Israelis with ruthlessly violent measures like this:

        “Ahed has lived her entire life under occupation. Her entire life she has watched Jewish settlements expand around her village, encroaching on her community’s land. She has watched soldiers raid her home and harass her family, she has seen members of her village shot, including Mustafa, who was killed after being shot in the face with a tear gas canister, and Mohammed, who this week was shot in the face with a rubber bullet and was in a coma for several days. He is younger than Ahed.”

        So you can point to some relative’s violent resistance, and pretend that things would be otherwise if there had been no violent resistance, but the really difficult fact is that Israelis really only listen to violence.

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        As Noam Sheizaf wrote in these pages exactly six years ago (“The undeniable Palestinian right to resist occupation,” December 21, 2011):

        “Israel doesn’t allow any form of protest in the West Bank (well, except for settler protest). Military law demands IDF permission for any demonstration of more than 10 people. The IDF regularly declares the villages of Nabi Saleh, Bil’in and Ni’lin, where protests take place, as Closed Military Zones, and it charges Israelis who attempt to join those demonstrations with violating of this order. Palestinian protest organizers are tried for long prison terms in military courts…For all Israel cares the Palestinians can have sit-ins and rallies until second coming; it wouldn’t affect Israeli policy one bit. It is worth remembering that in the two decades following 1967, strikes, rallies and general assemblies were the main protest methods in the West Bank and Gaza. Israel used these years of relative calm to introduce its massive settlement project. The only thing that made Israelis notice the Palestinians and start seriously discussing their rights is the first Intifada.”

        Sheizaf expanded on this theme here, with great historical accuracy, memory and insight:

        By Noam Sheizaf |Published March 11, 2016
        Why do we only listen to violence?

        Reply to Comment
      • Baladi Akka 1948

        It’s not her aunt, and if it <ere, what's that got to do with her ?

        Reply to Comment
    1. Baladi Akka 1948

      Rushdi Tamimi, NOT Rashadi. You really often get those names wrong, nobody reads Arabic at 972mag

      Reply to Comment

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