Video: Resistance icon Ahed Tamimi in Israeli military court

This video shows Ahed Tamimi in an Israeli military court on Sunday.

The 16-year-old appears to be in handcuffs as she is led in by Israeli officers. As a lawyer talks to Ahed, a woman, likely the person filming the video, can be heard asking her how she is doing.

Ahed looks at the camera and nods and smiles in answer, indicating she is doing fine.

The video was shared on the Facebook page “Free the Tamimi women.”

Ahed Tamimi has become an international focus of solidarity since Israeli occupation forces seized her from her home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh during a night raid last week.

Boy shot

That followed an incident the previous Friday, when Israeli occupation forces shot and gravely wounded her cousin, 14-year-old Muhammad Fadel Tamimi.

Ahed and two women from the family – her mother Nariman and cousin Nour – then attempted to remove Israeli soldiers from the family’s property. Ahed was seen in a video lightly slapping and shoving one of the armed men.

Bassem Tamimi, Ahed’s father, explains in an article for Newsweek that less than half an hour before this incident, “a soldier shot Ahed’s 14-year-old cousin in the face at close distance with a rubber-coated steel bullet, causing severe injuries and leaving him in a coma. Then, two soldiers had jumped the wall of our backyard and forced their way on to our property when Ahed confronted them in an effort to make them leave.”

“Israel’s military occupation is in contrast to all that is just and humane, from the abuse of our children to the abuse of our land,” Bassem adds. “As parents, we try to shelter our children against the occupation and all its violence, inequality and lack of freedom, but there is only so much we can do to protect them.”

According to Naji Tamimi, Nour’s father and one of Muhammad’s uncles, Muhammad barely survived his injury.

But he is now recovering after a complex hours-long surgery and will require long-term care and rehabilitation. A photo posted by Naji Tamimi on Facebook shows the extent of the injuries to Muhammad’s face and head.

Nariman and Nour were also arrested as part of a revenge campaign instigated by Israeli political and military leaders bent on expunging the humiliation of heavily armed men being confronted by women from a family known for its sacrifices as part of Nabi Saleh’s ongoing resistance to military occupation and settler-colonization.

Damage control

According to family sources, Ahed’s lawyer requested the hearing on Sunday in an attempt to get the teenager released.

Ahed was held in the notorious Russian Compound interrogation center in Jerusalem overnight and was previously in Ramleh prison.

The Free the Tamimi women Facebook page stated that Ahed “spent the night alone in a cold cell” after enduring several transfers between Israeli prisons.

According to her father Bassem Tamimi, Ahed, Nariman and Nour had previously been held in HaSharon prison.

Arbitrary transfers between prisons under harsh conditions are another way Israel abuses detainees.

Ahed Tamimi is one of hundreds of Palestinian children who each year are subjected to night raids and Israeli military detention each year, where many suffer abuse including torture and solitary confinement.

Concern over this systematic violence against Palestinian children prompted US lawmakers last month to introduce a historic bill to prevent US military aid to Israel being diverted to such practices.

Revenge in the dark

The Israeli army’s attack on the Tamimi family was meant to appease its virulently right-wing and anti-Palestinian domestic audience, but it has become an international embarrassment, prompting The New York Times to go into damage control mode to mitigate further harm to Israel’s tattered reputation.

Writing at Mondoweiss, James North notes that the Times’ coverage “does everything it can to reduce the power of the case” and “make the Israeli soldier look like the victim.”

Ben Caspit, a journalist with Israel’s Maariv newspaper and the online publication Al-Monitor, caused shock Saturday when he was quoted by the Associated Press stating in reference to the Tamimi family, “In the case of the girls, we should exact a price at some other opportunity, in the dark, without witnesses and cameras.”

This was widely interpreted as incitement to violence including possible sexual assault, though Caspit has vehemently denied this.

Caspit claims that comments he made in a radio commentary were taken out of context and mistranslated.

But as Jonathan Ofir points out, also at Mondoweiss, Caspit had also made the statement in his Maariv column.

After calling for revenge in the dark with no witnesses present, Caspit writes that the “Tamimi family needs to learn the hard way that such systematic provocations against Israeli soldiers will cost them dearly.”

He added that the Israeli army has the “capabilities, creativity and means” to do this “without paying an exorbitant public price.”

Ahed, Nariman and Nour are due to appear in military court again on Monday.

This article has been updated since initial publication.

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Actually, they don't. They've convinced themselves there can be only one reason why millions of people support the call for a boycott against Israel. We're all anti-Semites pretending to care about the spurious rights of a non-existent "people" as a pretext for enacting our nefarious plan to destroy the holy Jewish state. What other purpose could there be in demanding equal civil and political rights for all?

Ben Caspit's proposal to degrade Ahed Tamimi in the dark, away from cameras- until she is broken- is but the latest contribution by Israeli notables to public discourse legitimising rape and other forms of violence against Palestinian women and girls. One has only to recall Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked's approving reposting of a column urging that Palestinian mothers be killed along with their children. Or Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar Ilan University when he proposed rape of female relatives of Palestinian resistance fighters as a means of deterring "terrorism". Or the advice from the IDF's top rabbi Col. Eyal Karim, that the rape of non-Jewish women by Israeli soldiers in a time of conflict is permissable. Or Culture Minister General Miri Regev's numerous statements reviling Palestinians and in particular Palestinian women. The point is, this is a state saturated with rape fantasies as well as realities. And the authorised targets of this horrific mentality are not confined to the ranks of the official enemy. Many military officers and figures in government all the way to the presidency (Moshe Katsav) have been convicted of raping Jewish women. This is the sort of state Americans are being told to support, and threatened by new laws if they refuse to be silent.

Which is all the more reason to give whatever support we can to the Tamimi women as they face this warped, barbaric regime and demand their personal freedom as well as that of all Palestinians.

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Today, Monday 25th, Ben Caspit tries to unspeak what he said "http://www.jpost.com/Israel-Ne...

This is his crippled walkback: "extract a price, without witness or camera present" (that is, extra judicial revenge) should be read as "prevent humiliation of the IDF".

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Thanks for the link to Caspit's latest screed. While recognising that he went into some detail in an effort to exonerate himself, I noticed that he left out several relevant items.

Among other oversights, he fails to mention that the girl's mother was arrested when she arrived to be with her daughter during interrogation- a right guaranteed under international law. Nor that the father was then arrested for following up with inquiries. Nor Ahed's sister was also arrested and detained. Nor that the soldiers had shot Ahed's cousin Muhammad in the face before she slapped the military goons who were trespassing in the Tamimi family home. Nor that she has been transferred from the occupied territory to a prison inside Israel, a violation of the Geneva accords. All Caspit cared about was protecting his putrid reputation from the impact of his own words, which appearing originally in Hebrew, he clearly didn't expect to circulate globally. And yes, Ben Caspit is the victim here- not the sixteen year old girl held in chains in a gangster's dungeon. And certainly not the people of Palestine, whose children are subjected to such despicable abuse.

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.