(VIDEOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE)
IDF and Border Police forces arrested a 16-year-old Palestinian girl early Tuesday morning after a video of her slapping and kicking an IDF officer went viral. The girl, Ahed Tamimi of Nabi Salah, a Palestinian village in the Ramallah area, is a member of a family is known for instigating clashes with the IDF. In August 2015, a video went viral showing several female Tamimi family members, including Ahed, holding down an IDF soldier, leaving him unable to move.
200 PA (Palestinian Authority) residents participated in a violent riot last Friday in Nabi Salah, many of whom threw stones at IDF forces. During the disturbance, a number of Arabs entered the nearby house of the Tamimi family and continued to throw stones at the soldiers, with the consent of the family. The forces removed all the rioters from the house and remained standing at the entrance to prevent further entry.
Two soldiers were standing the Tamimi’s driveway, when Ahed, along with another girl, went outside to drive the soldiers away, all the while trying to slap and kick them in an attempt to coax a violent reaction and capture it on film.
“The ranking officer on the scene acted in a professional manner in that he did not react violently”, the IDF investigation into the incident concluded. “However, it may have been possible to arrest the women on the spot, as they were acting with physical violence as well as disrupting the soldiers’ work,” the report added.
Responding to the incident, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that “the IDF is the most humane military in the world, with values that don’t exist anywhere else. (But) we cannot allow our humanity to come at the expense of our deterrence and our strength – whoever acts out during the day, will be arrested at night.”
MK Ofer Shelah (Yesh Atid) called the incident “infuriating” and said his”heart goes out to the two soldiers who found themselves in this difficult situation.” Shelah also praised the soldiers for exercising restraint.
“Let me ask you a question though,” Shelah added, “How did you think it looks? The daily routine of those brave and moral soldiers, who joined the army to protect us all, and who find themselves in front of a kicking girl with a camera… This is how it looks, these are the dilemmas that they deal with, there can be no winners in this kind of situation. For this, and many other good reasons, we must separate from the Palestinians.”
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)