A Family Under Fire: The Tamimi’s Resistance in Nabi Saleh
By Nehal Naser, Amnesty International USA
At approximately 3 am on December 19, 2017, 16 year old Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi was arrested from her home by Israeli soldiers in a pre-dawn raid. Her father, Bassem Tamimi, who was declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty in 2012, stated that 30 armed Israeli soldiers stormed the home and arrested the 16 year old. The family was forced into one room in their home while the soldiers searched and ransacked the rest of the house. They confiscated many of the family’s possessions, including their laptops and cellphones, and violently pushed down Ahed’s 14 year old brother when he tried to resist their attempts. Ahed was handcuffed and taken out of the home and her family was prevented from following her outside. The soldiers gave the family no reason for the teen’s arrest.
According to Al Jazeera, “An Israeli army spokesperson told Al Jazeera that Ahed was suspected of “assaulting a soldier and an IDF officer”.” The Tamimi family holds that Ahed was trying to prevent the soldiers from coming onto their property after they shot her 15 year old cousin, Mohammed Tamimi, in the head, for which he had to be put into a medically induced coma days prior.
Later that day, Nariman Tamimi, Ahed’s mother, went to the Israeli police station where her daughter was being held in an attempt to be present at the interrogation. Bassem soon after received a call from his lawyer informing him that Nariman too had been arrested. Bassem was also detained when attending his daughter’s hearing in Ofer court, but later released. On the 20th of December, her cousin Nour Tamimi, another prominent activist and journalism student, was also arrested in a night raid. Days later their aunt, Manal Tamimi, was also arrested for participating in a nonviolent protest outside of the detention center calling for their release. Nour and Manal have been released, but the Ofer military court has continued to extend the detention of Ahed and Nariman Tamimi.
Ben Caspit, a prominent Israeli journalist called for retaliation against the Tamimis in an article he posted soon after her arrest, “In the case of the girls, we should exact a price at some other opportunity, in the dark, without witnesses and cameras”, and Education Minister Naftali Bennett suggested that they “spend the rest of their days in prison”. Ahed and Nariman are currently at risk of torture and other forms of ill treatment.
At this time, Amnesty International is calling on the Israeli authorities to release Ahed without delay.
- Join the Twitterstorm! Every day, a Twitterstorm is being organized with a new hashtag released at the moment the campaign begins to raise awareness and urge action to free Ahed Tamimi. You can join in by using the hashtags #FreeAhedTamimi, #Justice4Ahed, #SolidarityWithNabiSaleh and #Justice4NabiSaleh. The twitterstorms are currently scheduled for 10 AM Pacific, 1 PM Eastern, 6 PM UK, 7 PM in Europe, 8 PM in the Occupied Palestinian Territories each day.
- Call your nearest Israeli consulate or the Israeli embassy in Washington DC and let them know that you know about the detention of Ahed Tamimi in Nabi Saleh and other Palestinian child prisoners. Demand Ahed be released without delay. Contact the Israeli Ambassador to the United States:
Ambassador Ron Dermer
Twitter: @AmbDermer or @IsraelinUSA.
For contact information for consulates in the United States, go here: https://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of-israel-in-united-states.
- Write to Ahed. This is a good way to pressure prison officials and remind them the world is watching.
Ben Yehuda, P.O. Box 7
40 330 Israel
You can also send letters to Ahed’s father Bassem who can relay the messages to her, which serves as a morale booster, and will pass them along to her when she is released.
Al Nabi Saleh
Ramallah Birzeit Post Office
Palestine, West Bank