Why Did Israel Send 30 Troops To Arrest A Teen Palestinian Girl?

Ahed Tamimi slapped an Israeli soldier after the officers attacked her home and almost killed her cousin. She was arrested in the dead of the night.

The Israel Defense Forces arrested a 17-year-old Palestinian girl after videos showed her hitting an Israeli soldier after they attacked and damaged her home for no reason.

The video showed Ahed Tamimi and another Palestinian teenager approaching two Israeli soldiers and engaging in an argument with them. As the soldiers remained impassive and smirked at her words, Ahed started kicking and slapping them. A second video showed Ahed telling the soldiers to move out of her way as they were blocking the entrance to her home in the village of Nabi Saleh in the West Bank.


The video was recorded on the same day as protests erupted in the West bank over President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It has also been touted by Israeli army to prove to the world that their soldiers exercise restraint.

However, Ahed’s father Bassem claimed otherwise. The man said the video of Ahed hitting the soldier was shot immediately after Israeli soldiers fired tear-gas canisters directly at their home, breaking many windows. They also fired a rubber bullet point-blank in the face of her 14-year-old cousin, Mohammad.

The teen was critically injured and had to be put into a medically induced coma, from which he woke up three days later. Ahed was trying to force the soldiers to leave, so that nobody else in her family would get hurt. The Israeli soldiers did not “exercise restraint,” as their army stated — they had already almost killed a child.


A few days after the video emerged online, Israeli forces and border police forced entry into Tamimi’s house before dawn and arrested the young girl. Her father was awakened by soldiers screaming and banging at their door. When he opened it, they shoved him aside and marched inside. After confining the whole family into one room, the soldiers rifled through their belongings, threw their clothes and other stuff onto the floor and left their house in a state of chaos.

They then told the family they were there to arrest Ahed, without giving any reason.

Ahed’s mother, Nariman, tried to defend her daughter but the soldiers threw her to the ground, handcuffed the 17-year-old girl and led her outside into an Israeli army jeep. Her family was stopped from following her outside.

The soldiers also seized computers, mobile phones and other electronic devices from their homes. When Ahed’s 14-year-old brother refused to relinquish his phone, six soldiers pinned him to the ground and wrestled it away from them.

At least 30 soldiers were involved in the raid to arrest an unarmed, 17-year-old girl. Ahed’s family was left in shock after they left.

Later in the day, Nariman went to visit her daughter who was being detained in a police station near Jabaa village in the Jerusalem district, so she could be present when Ahed, being a minor, was interrogated. According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, a parent has the right to accompany their child for interrogation in the occupied Palestinian territory.

However, Nariman was also arrested upon her arrival, without any reason.

This isn’t the first time the Tamimi family had a conflict with Israeli forces. Earlier this week, 15-year-old Ahmad Tamimi was detained from his school. The Israeli army seems to be indiscriminately targeting Palestinian children.

According to Manal, another cousin of Ahed, the army arrested two children from their family and grievously injured a third one.

This is the first time Ahed has been arrested even though she had been protesting since she was 9. When she was just a child, a photograph of her standing up against an Israeli soldier earned her an invite to meet then-Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In 2015, she bit the hand of an Israeli soldier who was trying to arrest her brother. The photo became a global symbol of Palestinian protest.

Banner/Thumbnail credit: Getty Images

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