Palestinian teen and mother held in custody over goading of IDF soldiers

Ahed Tamimi, 16, to be detained until Thursday after slapping troops, who didn’t respond

A Palestinian girl filmed hitting two IDF soldiers in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh in an apparent effort to provoke a violent response will remain in custody for two more days, police said Tuesday.

The remand of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi’s mother, who was arrested on suspicion of assault and incitement, was also extended until Thursday.

During an encounter in the village on Friday, a group of women and girls repeatedly hit and shoved an IDF officer and another soldier.

Tamimi and two other teenage girls had filmed themselves hitting the soldiers, yelling at them and — at one point — slapping one of them across the face.

The girls filmed the soldiers with cellphones, which seemed to indicate they were trying to instigate a violent response from the soldiers. However, the servicemen did not oblige the girls, and refrained from retaliating throughout the encounter.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, Israeli security forces arrested Tamimi at her home in Nabi Saleh for her role in Friday’s incident.

The army later confirmed the arrest in a statement, saying the teenager took part in violent protests in the Ramallah area on Friday in which 200 soldiers were attacked by Palestinian rioters.

According to Tamimi’s father, Bassem, Israeli troops confiscated cellphones, laptops, and cameras from the family home.

After the footage of the assault on the soldiers was aired on Israeli television Monday evening, lawmakers lined up to praise the IDF servicemen, with one minister saying they should be jailed for life.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman hailed the IDF as the “most humane army that exhibits moral values that do not exist elsewhere.”

The army said that the soldiers “acted professionally and were not dragged into violence,” though they could have arrested the girls.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett told Army Radio the teen provocateurs should be jailed for life for attacking the soldiers. Bennett noted that under Israeli law, attacking soldiers is punishable by up to seven years in jail.

Nabi Saleh has been the frequent staging ground for provoked clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians, specifically members of the Tamimi clan, which has a history of getting involved in highly publicized interactions with the IDF.

In August 2015, an IDF soldier was caught on film trying to arrest Ahed’s 12-year-old Muhammad Tamimi, who had been throwing rocks during a violent protest.

In 2012, Ahed gained fame among Palestinian activists for an incident in which she led a group of children, including her younger brother, in arguing with Israeli soldiers.

In a video of the incident, she can be seen repeatedly raising her balled fist at a soldier, poised to hit him but never actually doing so.

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