The persecution of a Palestinian family

January 5, 2018

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network released the following statement in solidarity with members of the same family targeted by Israeli authorities.

PALESTINIAN TEEN and youth activist Ahed Tamimi, 16, whose arrest and detention by the Israeli occupation military has drawn worldwide attention, was charged in an Israeli military court with multiple allegations on January 1. Her mother, Nariman, was also charged with several allegations related to the Tamimi family's anti-occupation organizing and expression; the detention of both Ahed and her mother was extended for an additional eight days, until next January 8, when the military court will convene again.

Ahed was charged with "assault" for slapping an Israeli occupation soldier outside of her home in Nabi Saleh--after the soldier slapped her--and for "threatening a soldier...interfering with a soldier in carrying out his duties, incitement and throwing objects at individuals or property." Nariman Tamimi was charged with "incitement" on social media for streaming Ahed's encounter with the occupation soldiers at the family home in Nabi Saleh on Facebook Live and for her other political expression on social media, as well as assaulting soldiers. The Tamimi women and their family are leaders in the anti-colonial land defense and popular resistance movement in the Palestinian village of 600. The village is surrounded by the illegal settlement of Halamish, which has stolen the village's land and even its spring.

Palestinian political prisoner Ahed Tamimi
Palestinian political prisoner Ahed Tamimi (Khaled Tabasha | Facebook)

The incident itself took place shortly after Mohammed Tamimi, 14, Ahed's and Nour's cousin, was shot with a rubber-coated metal bullet by an Israeli occupation soldier invading their village. Mohammed was in a medically induced coma in critical condition for several days and is now released from the hospital after a six-hour operation on his face and head by seven surgeons.

Nour Tamimi, 21, Ahed's cousin, was also indicted by the Israeli occupation military court on December 31; she was initially ordered released on bail, then remained in prison due to an appeal by the military prosecution. On January 1, she was ordered released once more, but the decision was stayed for 20 hours to give the occupation military prosecution time to appeal once again. Nour is accused of "aggravated assault on a soldier" and "interference with a soldier." She is being ordered to present herself every Friday to an Israeli police station, potentially intended to deter her from participating in Nabi Saleh's weekly protests.

Meanwhile, Manal Tamimi was arrested by the Israeli occupation on December 29 as she protested outside the Israeli occupation military court in Ofer. On Monday, January 1, she was ordered released on Tuesday, but with the order stayed in order to give the military prosecution, once again, time to appeal.

It should be noted that Ahed is refusing to answer questions during interrogation or speak with the interrogators, emphasizing her commitment to sumoud (steadfastness) under interrogation and refusal to cooperate with or confess to the occupation. There is a long tradition of Palestinian resistance to interrogation and refusal to confess or provide information.

Ahed has become internationally known for her defense of Palestinian rights under occupation, including her defense of her younger brother when an occupation soldier seized him, and regular protests against land confiscation targeting Nabi Saleh and other villages around Ramallah. She has spoken internationally, including in Turkey, South Africa and in the European Parliament in a conference earlier this year on women in Palestinian resistance, where she spoke alongside Leila Khaled, Sahar Francis and several members of parliament.

Bassem Tamimi, Ahed's father and Nariman's husband, wrote a piece in Ha'aretz about his daughter's case and participation in struggle from a young age despite her and her family's desire to enjoy childhood:

My daughter is just 16 years old. In another world, in your world, her life would look completely different. In our world, Ahed is a representative of a new generation of our people, of young freedom fighters. This generation has to wage its struggle on two fronts. On the one hand, they have the duty, of course, to keep on challenging and fighting the Israeli colonialism into which they were born, until the day it collapses. On the other hand, they have to boldly face the political stagnation and degeneration that has spread among us. They have to become the living artery that will revive our revolution and bring it back from the death entailed in a growing culture of passivity that has arisen from decades of political inactivity.

Daily Twitterstorms organized by the Facebook page Free the Tamimi Women have highlighted the cases of Ahed, Nariman, Manal and Nour. The Twitterstorms are continuing on a daily basis, with the hashtag released at the time of the Twitterstorm; the storms take place at 10 a.m. Pacific time/1 p.m. Eastern time/6 p.m. UK time/7 p.m. Central Europe time/8 p.m. Palestine time.

International protests in New York, Berlin, Brussels, Milan and elsewhere have highlighted the cases of the Tamimi women, including Ahed's case and that of other Palestinian children targeted for persecution by the Israeli occupation in military courts with a conviction rate of over 99 percent. Protests are being organized in the coming days, on January 5 in New York and January 6 in Manchester, to demand freedom for Ahed, the Tamimi women and their fellow Palestinian prisoners. In Argentina, a collective of organizations dedicated a mural to Ahed Tamimi.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network denounces the ongoing imprisonment of Ahed, Nariman, Nour and Manal Tamimi, among over 500 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 the Tamimi women and all detained and imprisoned Palestinians.

The resistance of the Palestinian people has never been quelled by arrests or repression, and it must be clear that we, around the world, stand alongside the Palestinian people as they defend Jerusalem and their entire land and people under attack. This includes standing with detained and jailed Palestinian prisoners in their struggle for liberation for themselves, their people and their occupied homeland.


How You Can Take Action

1. 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, Nour and Nariman Tamimi. You can join in and follow the campaign at the Free the Tamimi Women Facebook page and @YASHebron on Twitter. The Twitterstorms are currently scheduled for 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern, 6 p.m. UK, 7 p.m. in Europe, 8 p.m. in Palestine--updates and hashtags are posted regularly on Facebook and Twitter.

2. Organize a protest for Ahed or join one of the protests being organized in cities like New York and Manchester and distribute this post and other news about Ahed and the Palestinian prisoners. Get others involved in the struggle for Palestinian freedom! Build the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and complicit corporations like HP and G4S.

3. For supporters in the U.S.: Call your member of the House of Representatives to support H.R. 4391, the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act. Tell them specifically about Ahed's arrest, and urge them to act for her release. Tell them to pressure Israel to free Ahed and other detained Palestinian kids. Call the House switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to your Representative's office. CODEPINK has an action to highlight this case specifically.

4. Call your nearest Israeli embassy and let them know that you know about the detention of Ahed Tamimi in Nabi Saleh and other Palestinian child prisoners. Demand Ahed, her mother Nariman and the other detained children be immediately released. Contact information here.

5. Sign the petition. Over 150,000 people have already signed on to demand freedom for Ahed.

6. Write to Ahed, Nour and Nariman. While Zionist jailers frequently censor Palestinian prisoners' mail, these letters can help bolster morale and even send a message to the jailers and censors themselves. Write to Ahed Tamimi, Nour Tamimi or Nariman Tamimi (choose one and address your letter to one only) at:
HaSharon prison
Ben Yehuda, P.O. Box 7
40 330 Israel

First published at the Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network website.

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