World-renowned Teen Journalist & Her Mother Abducted by Israeli soldiers

20 Dec
2:11 AM

Ahed al-Tamimi, a 16-year old girl from Nabi Saleh who has filmed the brutality of Israeli soldiers in her village since she was ten, was abducted from her home Tuesday morning by Israeli soldiers during a pre-dawn raid. Later Tuesday morning, when her mother Nariman went to Benjamin police station, to ask about her daughters, the Israeli army’s response was to abduct the mother as well. The family still does not know anything about the evolution of the situation.

The soldiers, according to local sources, invaded the town with armored vehicles at 3 am and drove up to the al-Tamimi family home. They broke into the home, wrested the sleeping family from their beds, and ransacked the house, stealing all the family’s cell phones and computers. They then abducted the teen girl and took her to an interrogation center.

Video of her abduction:

According to the International Solidarity Movement statement about the event, 16-year old Ahed has often appeared in videos where she is seen facing Israeli military during protests. On the 18th of December, when soldiers shot 14-year old Mohammed Tamimi, in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet (still being treated in a medically-induced coma in the hospital), she stood in front of the entrance pushing the Israeli soldiers back trying to keep them out.The video has been used by the Zionist press as a means of propaganda to show the kindness and the courtesy of the soldiers, contrary to the ‘violence’ of Ahed. Of course, the blocking action costed her the arrest. This morning, at 4, the Israeli armed forces stole the family’s cameras and telephone, beat the son, and arrested Ahed. No explanation has been provided about the case.

Meanwhile, this afternoon, Israeli soldiers kept on shooting tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at people protesting at the checkpoint at the entrance of the village.

Nabi Saleh is a village that is known worldwide as one of the centers of non-violent resistance to the Israeli military occupation and Annexation Wall. The town has held weekly protest marches every Friday for over a decade, in which the Nabi Saleh residents are joined by international supporters and sometimes Israelis aho march together to the site of the construction of the Israeli Annexation Wall on village land.

As Jaclynn Ashly pointed out in an Al Jazeera article in September 2017, “Ahed Tamimi was just 14 when she rose to international prominence through the release of a video and a series of photos capturing her desperate attempts to save her 11-year-old brother, Mohammad, from the grips of an Israeli soldier in 2015.

“In the video, filmed during one of the weekly protests that had been staged in Nabi Saleh for years, Ahed is seen hitting and biting the hand of the masked soldier as her mother and aunt hit and tug at his clothes, struggling to pull the soldier away from Mohammad.

“Afterwards, scores of journalists rushed to the village to interview Ahed, with NBC News describing the blond-haired, blue-eyed teenager as the ‘poster child’ for the Palestinian struggle.

“However, while her newfound fame cast a spotlight on the village’s violent experiences with the Israeli occupation, it also made Ahed an easily recognisable figure among Israeli forces stationed in the West Bank.

“The harassment began immediately following the video’s release, as Israelis called her a “terrorist” on social media and threatened to kill her, the family says. Bassem, Ahed’s father and a long-standing leader in the village, said that her 19-year-old brother, Waed, was detained after the release of the video. At the start of his 10-month stay in Israeli jail, Ahed’s mother, Nariman, received permission to enter Israel to visit him, and Ahed tagged along.

“’When we passed a checkpoint near Jerusalem, the Israeli soldiers got on the bus and immediately singled her out’, Nariman told Al Jazeera. ‘While everyone else was permitted to pass, Ahed was pulled off the bus and told she wouldn’t be allowed into Israel.’

“During the village’s protests, Israeli forces would often scream Ahed’s name and shout curses at her. ‘Look! It’s Ahed Tamimi. Shoot her!’ Bassem recalled one soldier as saying.

Ahed holding the Palestinian flag at a protest

Ahed holding the Palestinian flag at a protest

“The family was often scared for their daughter, he added: ‘Whenever the soldiers recognise her, they do something to make her life difficult. Every time she left the house, we were scared something would happen to her.’ Ahed was even forced to stay at her cousin’s home in Ramallah, where she attends school, to avoid the danger of passing through Israeli checkpoints on her way from Nabi Saleh.”

Ahed confronting an Israeli soldier at a protest

Ahed confronting an Israeli soldier at a protest

In response to the abduction of Ahed and her mother, the Palestinian prisoner support organization Samidoun issued a statement which read, in part, “Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network denounces the arrest of Ahed Tamimi and Nariman Tamimi, the latest of over 450 Palestinians arrested by Israeli occupation forces following U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration of recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Issa Qaraqe of the Palestinian Prisoners Affairs Commission stated that approximately half of those detained, like Ahed, Abdul-Khalik Burnat and Fawzi al-Junaidi, are children. There are hundreds of Palestinian children jailed by Israel and frequently subject to beatings, abuse, and interrogations without parents or lawyers present in violation of the law. We urge people of conscience around the world to take action to demand freedom for Ahed and her fellow detained and jailed Palestinian children in occupation detention centers, interrogation centers and prisons – and for Nariman Tamimi and all detained and imprisoned Palestinians.”

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Celine Hagbard

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