Ahed Tamimi, Palestinian Teen Who Slapped Israeli Soldier in Video, Charged With Assault

Her mother, Nariman is being charged with assault and incitement on social media

Ahed Tamimi is brought to a courtroom inside Ofer military prison near Jerusalem, Dec. 28, 2017
Mahmoud Illean/AP

Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian 16-year-old arrested for slapping an Israeli soldier two weeks ago, was indicted on five counts of assaulting security forces and for throwing stones by the Israeli Army's military prosecutor. Ahed's mother, Nariman Tamimi, is being charged for incitment on social media, and for assault.

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Ahed and Nur were arrested after a video was posted on Facebook by Nariman showing the two slapping a soldier in the West Bank village of Nebi Salah.

Ahed's indictment accuses her of a series of similar attacks on IDF soldiers and for throwing stones at security forces. The five counts of assault against her include: threatening a soldier, attacking a soldier under aggrevated circumstances, interfering with a soldier in carrying out his duties, incitment, and throwing objects at individuals or property.

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Nariman is accused of being involved in two incidents, including the one videoed, and for incitment on social media sites.

Ahed is charged with aggravated assault in the incident on December 15. The indictment states that two soldiers, a captain and staff sergeant, were standing next to Tamimi’s home, when her mother Nariman used Facebook live to stream the video of the incident. Ahed pushed the soldiers and verbally threatened them, saying: “Get out or I’ll punch you.” She then pushed them, kicked them and hit them in the face, states the indictment. The soldiers remained calm and barely responded to the attacks. She was also charged with interfering with a soldier in carrying out his duties and threatening them.

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Ahed is also charged with incitement. The military prosecution states that on the same day she “tried verbally and in other ways to influence public opinion in the area in a manner that could well disturb public safety or public order.”

The indictment states that after the soldiers left the scene, her mother continued to broadcast and asked Ahed to present her message to the world. Ahed then said: “I hope everyone will participate in the protests because that is the only solution to reach a result. Our strength is in our rocks and I hope that the entire world will unite to liberate Palestine because Trump announced a decision and they need to bear responsibility for every response that will come from us – Whether it is a stabbing attack or suicide bombing or throwing rocks, everyone needs to do something and unite in order for our message to reach those who want to liberate Palestine,” the indictment quotes Tamimi as saying.

The broadcast was “viewed by thousands of users,” said the military prosecutor.

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Ahed is also charged for throwing rocks at soldiers a few days before the videoed incident, during a “public disturbance” near Nabi Saleh, states the indictment. A soldier was returning on the main dirt road in the village and when he was near Tamimi she spit at him and called him a “dog,” states the indictment. She also pushed one of the large garbage bins that made up part of the improvised roadblock out of the way during this incident and threw rocks at soldiers from up close “in order to injure them,” it continues. For these acts she was charged with interfering with a soldier in carrying out his duties, throwing rocks at a person, and assaulting a soldier.

Nariman, Ahed’s mother, is charged with assaulting a soldier, obstructing a soldier in carrying out his duties, two counts of incitement to violence and disturbing the “public order.” She is charged of assaulting one of the soldiers during in the filmed incident from December 15.

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The indictment states that Nariman streamed the video on Facebook Live and along with Ahed and Nur, pushed the officer. Nariman then assaulted the two soldiers a second time, and “pushed them backwards and kicked them” along with Nur and Ahed. They then linked arms and tried to prevent the soldiers from returning to their positions, states the indictment. Later Nariman, pushed the other soldier. For these reasons she was also charged with interfering with a soldier in carrying out his duties.

Prosecutors also claim streaming the incident on Facebook Live was incitement to violence.

Nariman is also charged with incitement during the period of May 7 to June 17, 2017: “During this period during the present wave of terrorismThe accused posted on the Facebook social network reports which contain praise for the attackers and terrorist attacks on page that 4,990 [people] were exposed to.” Prosecutors said she called on people to become martyrs and go out and carry out terrorist attacks on Facebook.

The indictment against Nariman also states that soon after the murder of Border Policewoman Hadas Malka in June outside the Damascus Gate of the Old city of Jerusalem, Nariman posted pictures of the three terrorists who murdered Malka and wrote: “They were three heroes who challenged death. May their feet be on the neck of the dictator. The three died the death of lions.” The prosecutors said her actions “praised terrorist attacks and those who carried them out.”

The Military Prosecution charged Ahed of interfering with soldiers in another incident in late May, in which she attempted to prevent soldiers from arresting a person who was throwing rocks at a “public disturbance” in the village, during which a police officer was injured.

Earlier in May during another disturbance, Ahed pushed a soldier and called him a “Nazi terrorist murderer” and a “dog, animal, shit, thief, murderer of children.” Later she punched Border police officers and soldiers, said prosecutors.

She is further charged with throwing rocks using a slingshot and with her hands during another disturbance in early April 2016 “with the intention of injuring them. The accused was a dominant factor in the riot and persuaded those around her to throw rocks,” states the indictment

On Sunday, Ahed's cousin Nur, 20, was indicted on charges of aggravated assault and for interfering with a soldier in carrying out his duties.

Nariman and Ahed were ordered to be held in detention for another eight days by the court. The court released Nur but the military prosecution received a 20-hour stay of the order to appeal the court’s decision.

The lawyer for the three women, Gaby Lasky, told Haaretz: “The indictment is unusual because Ahed was arrested because of the incident filmed on video. Because this incident in its own right does not justify a long detention as the prosecution wanted, they kept her under arrest in order to find incidents from the past. And so they filed an indictment concerning events that occurred a year and a half ago and more – when no one reported until the present arrest, she was not arrested for them, no complaints were filed about her, no action reports were written about them, which demonstrates that there is a desire to try and use the case of Ahed as a case for deterring other young people from trying to rise up against the occupation,” said Lasky.

Last Thursday, the military court ordered Nur released and extended the detention of Ahed and Nuriman. However, the court delayed Nur’s release until Sunday to allow the military prosecution to appeal the release. Nur is the only one of the three to whom the army does not attribute previous acts of violence. 

The video clip shows Ahed Tamimi slapping a soldiers and trying to kick him, to provoke a response. After the first soldier she harassed did not respond violently, Ahed Tamimi kicked him and slapped him. After that she approached the second soldier standing nearby and tried to strike him as well. Then Nur joined in and pushed the soldiers, while Ahed continued to attack them. The two soldiers did not respond, either by striking them or chasing them away. Ahed Tamimi was arrested the following day and her mother was arrested when she went to the police station to find out what was happening with her daughter.