The unthinkable is absolutely routine in the occupied Palestinian territories. This particular outrage involves a familiar face – that of 15-year-old Mohammad Tamimi.
As Mohammad was walking in his village, Nabi Saleh, 4 Israeli agents disguised as Palestinians jumped him, threw him in a car, and drove out of the village.
The abduction of a young man, even a minor, is a completely ordinary event in the occupied West Bank of Palestine where, during the last 12 months, Israel has held a minimum of 6,000 prisoners at any given time, 280 or more of whom have been minors. This is scandalous but typical.
What makes Mohammad’s kidnapping singularly outrageous is his previous experience with Israeli military. It bears repeating.
On 15 December 2017, during the weekly village protest, Mohammad peeked over a wall into an area where Israeli soldiers generally hang out – illegally occupying an empty villa for the purpose of enforcing an illegal occupation – and when they saw his head, they shot at it. From only a few yards away.
14-year-old Mohammad Tamimi spent 4 days in a medically-induced coma after being shot in the face by Israeli forces.
Mind you, these would have been heavily armed, bullet-proof vested, combat-helmeted soldiers. They had nothing to fear. Nevertheless, they shot Mohammad.
The bullet entered near his nose and lodged in the back of his skull; he was bleeding heavily. A Red Crescent ambulance rushed in.
The Israeli soldiers at first refused to let the ambulance leave.
Eventually, Mohammad made it to the hospital, where part of his skull had to be removed due to severe inflammation of his brain. Since then, he has been recovering from this life-threatening injury.
“THE SLAP THAT WAS HEARD AROUND THE WORLD”
Moments after the shooting, his cousin Ahed heard the news. Furious and distraught, she screamed at an IDF soldier loitering on her property and delivered “the slap that was heard around the world.” It was a light slap, but resulted in a midnight home invasion by the IDF and a ride to prison.
Culture Minister Miri Regev considered the incident “damaging to the honor of the military and the state of Israel.” Education Minister Naftali Bennett proposed that Ahed receive a life sentence. Deputy Knesset Speaker Bezalel Smotrich tweeted that violence would have been an appropriate response: “In my opinion, she should have gotten a bullet, at least in the kneecap. That would have put her under house arrest for the rest of her life.”
Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi enters a military courtroom escorted by Israeli Prison Service personnel
Ahed was charged with 5 counts of assault: “threatening a soldier, attacking a soldier under aggravated circumstances, interfering with a soldier in carrying out his duties, incitement, and throwing objects at individuals or property.” She is now serving an 8-month sentence.