The Haldane Society joins colleagues and comrades across the world in condemning Israel’s arrest of Ahed Tamimi and demanding her immediate release.
On 16th December 2017, Ahed and her cousin Nour crossed Ahed’s yard in the village of Nabi Saleh in Palestine’s occupied West Bank, approaching the Israeli soldiers who were standing at the gate. Ahed’s mother Nariman filmed as she slapped and kicked one of the soldiers several times, telling them to leave.
The footage went viral globally, and pro-occupation Israelis saw the ensuing praise for Ahed’s bravery as a national humiliation.
On 19th December Ahed was arrested and detained, and is now facing charges for actions dating back to 2016 that could carry up to 10 years in prison. She is to be tried in Ofer military court, where civilian rights to a fair trial do not apply and which has a conviction rate of over 99%.
Nour and Nariman, who have been released on bail, are also being prosecuted.
The court has decided Ahed is “too dangerous” to get bail. Every day Ahed spends in illegal detention and under interrogation in Ofer Prison – where Unicef has observed systemic mistreatment of minors – puts her in danger of physical and psychological abuse.
Ahed’s family has a long history of persecution by, and resistance against, the occupation. In Ahed’s words, she continues to fight because “every day I see settlers swimming, sitting and playing on my land while I’m afraid one of us will be killed.”
Indeed, on 3rd January 2018, her 17-year-old cousin Musab Firas al-Tamimi was shot dead in a protest, making him the first Palestinian child to be killed by Israeli forces in 2018. When Ahed slapped the soldier, she had just heard the news that the IDF had shot her cousin and neighbour Muhammad in the face, leaving him in a critical condition.
We affirm Ahed’s internationally recognised right to resist the occupation, and condemn Israel’s attempts to suppress resistance through violence against minors.
We call for Ahed to be released urgently so she can return to her family and friends in Nabi Saleh, and we demand that all charges against the three Tamimi women be dropped.