Jewish Home lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich on Sunday said he was “very sad” that a Palestinian teen protester who was filmed slapping Israeli soldiers was jailed and not shot, saying Ahed Tamimi deserved a bullet to the kneecap, “at the very least.”
Responding to a tweet from ex-Jewish Home MK Yinon Magal, Smotrich lamented that IDF troops did not maim the 17-year-old in the December 2017 incident.
“I am actually very sad that she is under arrest, Yinon,” Smotrich tweeted at Magal, who had expressed satisfaction Tamimi was still behind bars four months after her arrest.
“In my opinion, she deserved a bullet, at the very least to the kneecap. That would put her under house arrest for the rest of her life,” Smotrich said.
Smotrich has a history of making controversial remarks, including encouraging draft-dodging in protest of the IDF’s “radical feminist” agenda; comparing the evacuation of an illegal settlement outpost to a “brutal rape,” and claiming that “illiterate” Arabs are granted university admission thanks to affirmative action.
He has also called himself a “proud homophobe,” and was involved in organizing an anti-gay “Beast Parade” in Jerusalem, in response to the city’s annual Gay Pride parade.
Tamimi is currently serving an eight-month prison term — the result of a plea deal — for slapping and kicking two Israeli soldiers outside her West Bank home in mid-December.
Under the terms of the deal, Tamimi confessed to aggravated assault of an IDF soldier, incitement to violence and disrupting soldiers on two other occasions. The 17-year-old was also filmed encouraging attacks against Israelis, including stabbing attacks.
In her version of the incident, Tamimi told a military court in the West Bank, the same soldiers featured in the video had shot her cousin in the head with a rubber bullet an hour prior to the filmed encounter.
Tamimi’s arrest and prosecution by Israel has garnered international attention. It has also touched on broader issues, such as the detention of Palestinian minors by Israeli — currently 356 — and the debate on what constitutes legitimate resistance to Israel’s rule over millions of Palestinians.
Earlier this month, the IDF said the Justice Ministry was investigating a video released by Tamimi’s family that shows an Israeli interrogator threatening the teen with the arrest of her relatives if she refused to cooperate.
The interrogator, who at times moved within centimeters of the Tamimi’s face, also commented on the teen’s body, fair skin, and “eyes of an angel.”
Jacob Magid contributed to this report.