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.
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.
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.
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.
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.