Israel arrests another Tamimi teenager

Muhammad Bilal Tamimi smiling, raising a “victory” sign as Israeli occupation soldiers abduct him from his home on 11 January.

Manal Tamimi

Another member of the Tamimi family has been arrested by Israeli forces occupying the West Bank.

Muhammad Bilal Tamimi, 19, was taken prisoner during a night raid on the village of Nabi Saleh early Thursday.

Israeli forces will keep Muhammad under investigation until Sunday, and may extend his detention beyond that, Muhammad’s father Bilal Tamimi stated in a Facebook post.

Bilal wrote in another post that Israeli forces transferred Muhammad to Petah Tikva detention center near Tel Aviv.

Muhammad’s mother Manal Tamimi wrote that Petah Tikva is “the worst interrogation center in all occupation prisons, where they torture prisoners.”

Manal, who herself was arrested on 28 December while protesting near an Israeli military prison and released after almost a week, posted photos of Muhammad’s arrest on Twitter.

In a video of the arrest, Manal is heard telling Muhammad that Israeli soldiers “will keep you nights without sleep, stay strong my son,” as they said their goodbyes and he was abducted from his home.

Israel terrorizing Tamimi family

In an interview with Aaron Maté on The Real News, Manal talked about how Israeli forces tortured her in prison.

“When [the Israeli soldier] took me back to Ofer prison, and we were away from the media and the cameras, they began, and she began to beat me, and I had bleeding in the jaw and all the time in the prison I was very sick, and I was under extreme pain, and then they took me to interrogation where they kept me the whole night until 12:30 at night, outside, in [the] cold.”

While Manal was in prison, Israeli soldiers shot dead her cousin Musab Tamimi, 17, at a protest in the occupied West Bank.

Manal said that it was “one of the most difficult experiences anybody could go through – to see your cousin and his blood on TV while you don’t understand what’s going on and what’s happening.”

Musab is the “third member of my family who was killed since the non-violent resistance that we began in 2009, but actually 22 Tamimi [family members have] been killed since 1976 until now,” she added.

Since President Donald Trump announced that the US wished to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last month, Israeli forces have arrested five members of the extended Tamimi family, including two teenagers – in addition to killing Musab and severely injuring another child, also called Muhammad Fadel Tamimi. Israeli forces arrested Ahed Tamimi, 16, in a night raid on the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh on 19 December.

Ahed and her cousin Nour Tamimi attempted to remove two Israeli soldiers from the family’s property. Ahed was seen in a video filmed by her mother, Nariman, slapping and shoving one of the heavily armed men.

Ahed, Nour and Nariman were all detained by the army following the circulation of the video amid calls by Israeli leaders for revenge against the family.

The Israeli military filed 12 charges against Ahed on 1 January. If convicted on charges including throwing stones, incitement and assaulting and threatening a soldier, the 16-year-old could remain in Israeli prisons for years.

Ahed’s mother Nariman is facing charges of “incitement” for broadcasting the incident on the Internet.

Ahed’s cousin Nour was released on 4 January on bail, after being charged with aggravated assault and interfering with a soldier’s duties.

Ahed is one of approximately 350 Palestinian children in Israeli military custody.

Israeli soldiers also arrested Palestinian teacher and activist Abdallah Abu Rahma, from the West Bank village of Bilin in November, and detained him for one month.

Abu Rahma was featured in the award-winning documentary 5 Broken Cameras.

Ashraf Abu Rahma, also from Bilin, was arrested by Israeli forces in October, but – like a number of the village’s other residents – remains imprisoned.

International solidarity

Ever since Ahed’s arrest made international headlines, human rights groups around the world have been calling for her release.

Demonstrators gathered in Washington, D.C.’s Union Station on Wednesday to demand freedom for Ahed Tamimi and other Palestinian prisoners. The protest was organized by the anti-war campaign group CODEPINK.

Hundreds of demonstrators also gathered in New York City’s Grand Central Station last week to demand freedom for Ahed Tamimi.

CODEPINK’s Ariel Gold said that they will keep protesting until Ahed is free.

Railway workers involved in CGT, one of France’s major trade unions, held a protest against Ahed’s detention, too.
Israel published a blacklist barring members of 20 human rights organizations from territory it controls on 7 January.

Groups on the blacklist include CODEPINK, Friends of Al-Aqsa, War on Want, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Association France Palestine Solidarité, the UK’s Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign.


Tamara Nassar

Tamara Nassar is an assistant editor at The Electronic Intifada.