Ahed Tamimi’s brother sentenced to 14 months for stone-throwing

Father praises Wa’ed Tamimi, 22, for being on ‘path of resistance,’ month after sister and mother released from jail in soldier-slapping incident

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

Wa'ed Tamimi (Courtesy: Bassem Tamimi)
Wa'ed Tamimi (Courtesy: Bassem Tamimi)

An Israeli military court on Monday sentenced the brother of Ahed Tamimi to 14 months behind bars for throwing stones at security forces in two clashes over the last three years.

Wa’ed Tamimi, 22, was arrested in May over an incident that took place the previous year, in March 2017, in which he and others from his village of Nabi Saleh hurled stones at an army jeep that had gotten stuck in the town.

According to the indictment against Tamimi, a soldier suffered a hand injury as a result of the rock throwing.

The verdict came less than a month after Tamimi’s sister Ahed Tamimi and mother Nariman Tamimi were released for prison for hitting a soldier in a case that drew international attention.

In handing down its sentence — which was first reported by the Kan public broadcaster — Judge Rani Amar said he took into account a similar clash in which Wa’ed Tamimi took part in January 2016. For that incident, he was given a 12-month suspended sentence.

Amar accepted the plea agreement reached between the defense and the prosecution in which Tamimi agreed to serve 14 months behind bars — eight months for the 2017 incident and six months for the 2016 one.

The 22-year-old was fined NIS 7,500 ($1,914) and given another 12-month suspended sentence over the next five years where he will be expected to not participate in any clashes with IDF troops.

In a final statement after the plea agreement was announced in court, Tamimi assured Amar that “there would not be a third incident.”

While the typical sentence for stone-throwing that does not cause injury is six to 18 months behind bars, a spokeswoman for Tamimi’s attorney Gaby Lasky said that the prosecution had agreed to a lighter punishment for her client after inconsistencies arose in eyewitness accounts of the clash.

However, Lasky also lambasted the sentencing, which she pointed out was far more severe than the punishments given to Israeli Jews who often receive no jail time at all for hurling stones at troops.

Last month, a group of settlers clashed with Border Police in the northern West Bank hilltop community of Yitzhar. One officer was moderately injured as a result. While a number of arrests were subsequently made, the suspects have all been released and charges have not been filed.

The Israeli military court sentences my son Waed 14 months in jail and suspended 12 month and 7 thousand shiekl as a…

Posted by Bassem Tamimi on Monday, August 20, 2018

Tamimi’s father Bassem released a statement on Facebook slamming the military court’s decision.

“We are proud that you are on the path of resistance that Palestine deserves. Victory is on its way and the occupation is on its way out,” he said.

The elder Tamimi also criticized the army for not allowing his son to see his mother and sister when they were released from prison last month after serving over seven months for their own assault of an IDF soldier last December.

That incident was captured on Facebook live and quickly went viral, showing then 16-year-old Ahed slapping and shoving the soldier outside her home in the central West Bank village of Nabi Saleh late last year.

Also featured in the clip were Ahed’s mother Nariman and cousin Nour. The former received the same sentence as her daughter while the latter was released in January as the charges against her were less severe.

Ahed Tamimi, center right, is hugged by her father Bassem as she is released by the Israeli army after serving an eight month sentence, seen here as she arrived at the entrance of her village of Nebi Saleh in the West Bank July 29, 2018. (Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP)

In Ahed’s version of the incident, shared in court during a December, she said the soldiers featured in the video had shot her cousin in the head with a rubber bullet an hour before the filmed encounter. Under the terms of a March plea bargain, the 17-year-old admitted to aggravated assault against an IDF soldier, incitement to violence and disrupting soldiers on two other occasions.

Ahed’s incarceration has drawn attention from around the globe, transforming the teen into a Palestinian icon. Many Palestinians see her as bravely standing up to military control over the West Bank, while Israelis accuse her family of using her as a pawn.

Adam Rasgon contributed to this report. 

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