Early Wednesday morning, the Israeli army arrested a second young Palestinian who had been filmed hitting two Israeli soldiers in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh last weekend in a video that went viral and stirred outrage among some in the Israeli public, including cabinet members in the right-wing government.
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The arrest of Nur Tamimi, 20, comes the day after the arrest of her cousin, Ahed Tamimi, 16, who is seen in the video punching, slapping and kicking the pair of soldiers. The soldiers did not respond to them.
The case of the two young Palestinians will be heard in military court. On Wednesday, military juvenile court judge Lidor Drachman denied an appeal filed by Ahed Tamimi's lawyer seeking the teen's release, and as a result, she will remain in custody until Monday. The judge acknowledged that Ahed Tamimi did not pose a danger, but she said the teen's continued detention was justified due to concern that she could interfere with the investigation.
The army said that Ahed's cousin Nur Tamimi had been arrested as part of a sweep by security forces, during which 17 arrests were made. Ahed’s mother, Nariman Tamimi, was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of assault and incitement.
The mother’s lawyer says the mother had gone to the police to find out where her daughter was, and was then arrested herself and taken for questioning.
In the video that went viral, according to the army it was Ahed and Nur who first approached one soldier and Ahed Tamimi who pushed and shoved him. After he failed to respond to the provocation, as the women seem to have hoped, Ahed Tamimi is seen continuing to slap and kick him. She also came up to the other soldier and tried to assault him, as did Nur Tamimi. Two older women are seen joining the two teenagers and also push the soldiers while Tamimi continues to attack them. The soldiers show restraint and do not respond in any way.
Following Ahed Tamimi’s arrest, her father wrote on Facebook that Israeli army soldiers came into the house in the pre-dawn hours, arrested his daughter Ahed and confiscated computers, electronic equipment and phones, after what he said was a violent search that included attacks on family members.
The IDF said a preliminary inquiry into the incident found the “commander acted professionally by not being dragged into [the use of] violence.” The army added that it could have arrested the young women at the time of the incident “both because they used physical violence and because of the fact that they tried to interfere with soldiers carrying out their duties.”
The video sparked furor among some swaths of the Israeli public — both against the Tamimi cousins for attacking them and the soldiers themselves for not reacting. Calls were swift from Israeli politicians calling for their arrest.