Palestinian girl filmed provoking IDF soldiers arrested
Border Policewomen arrest Ahed Tamimi, Palestinian girl filmed provoking IDF soldiers in weekly Friday Nabi Salih protest by slapping, pushing them; IDF backs force, qualifies provocateurs could have been arrested on-scene; Tamimi's father claims soldiers stole phones, cameras, laptops during arrest, beat his wife and children.
IDF and Border Police forces overnight Monday arrested Ahed Tamimi, one of the two Palestinian girls filmed provoking and beating Israeli soldiers during protests in the Palestinian village of Nabi Salih.
Tamimi was taken in for questioning by police, rather than Shin Bet, for her actions.
The video, taken during a weekly demonstration held in the village this past Friday, showed soldiers displaying restraint in the face of slaps, pushes and kicks by the Palestinians, who attempted to entrap them to respond.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday morning that Ahed Tamimi will not be the only one to bear the consequences of her actions, "her parents and her surroundings won't get away from what they deserve."
Speaking during a meeting with community heads on the Gaza border, the defense minister stressed that while "the IDF is the most humane army, upholding values that exist nowhere else, this humanity must not come at the expense of deterrence and strength."
He backed the soldiers who did not give in to the provocation, saying "The soldiers acted in accordance with the orders they received from above. If there is a problem—it will be fixed."
Lieberman went on to say that Israel "would not allow any harm to soldiers and officers. We'll do what needs to be done. I will deal with this matter together with the Military Advocate General and the Chief of Staff."
"The most important thing is that those who carried out an offense during the day were arrested during the night," he added.
The IDF said that more than 200 Palestinians lobbed rocks at soldiers during the protest, adding, "Several Palestinians entered a nearby home and continued throwing rocks at soldiers from inside the home with its occupants' consent. Forces removed the rioters from the home and remained standing in the entrance in order to prevent further entry. Later, several Palestinian women came out to face the soldiers in order to incite provocation."
An initial inquiry held by the commander of the Rotem Battalion showed the company commander himself was present near the house to prevent additional rioters from entering it.
"The force's commander, who has operational jurisdiction, conducted himself professionally by not responding in kind, but the Palestinians could have been arrested at the time of the incident, considering they were physically violent and were disrupting the soldiers from carrying out their tasks," the inquiry said.
Tamimi is the daughter of one of Nabi Salih's most prominent activists, who is also one of the driving forces behind the weekly demonstrations.
In the video, Tamimi shouts at the soldiers to leave the courtyard they're standing in when an additional woman arrives and attempts to get between Tamimi and the soldiers, despite the fact they did nothing to respond.
Friday's incident was not the first time Tamimi was documented provoking soldiers. Several years ago she was filmed biting a soldier who came in to arrest her brother during a weekly Nabi Salih protest. In another instance, she was shown screaming at a member of Israel's security forces during a demonstration in an attempt to push him to lose his cool.
The IDF backed the soldiers, but said it was nevertheless reviewing whether the two girls could have been dealt with differently.
Bassem Tamimi, Ahed's father, wrote on his Facebook account early Tuesday that "IDF forces raided my home and arrested my daughter following the Israeli media's attack against her. They stole our phones, cameras and laptops and beat my wife and children. Free Ahed Tamimi!"
Tamimi's father told Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth Monday that, "The soldiers entered the grounds of the house, started throwing gas grenades around and broke the house's windows. An hour prior to the incident, they beat a local young man, and there's even a possibility the soldiers who beat him were those two (soldiers seen in the video)."
The Tamimi patriarch said he was not surprised the soldiers maintained their composure and refrained from arresting his daughter. "Their conduct didn't impress me. He was shooting gas grenades and breaking windows movements before. Their conduct may seem humane at that instance, but I don't think their general conduct that day was humane. I'm proud of my daughter and what she did," he boasted.