The story behind Ahed Tamimi slapping an Israeli soldier…

Just before brave Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi slapped one of the soldiers, she’d learned that her 15-year-old cousin Mohammed had been shot in the head at close range.

A year earlier, at 2am on April 24th, 2017, soldiers broke into his home by force, entered the children’s room, snatched Mohammed from his bed, handcuffed him and took him into detention. He wanted to get dressed before being taken to prison; the soldiers initially refused but then consented, he says now. Tamimi was suspected of throwing stones at an army jeep that had broken down next to the gas station at the village’s entrance a few days earlier. He was taken to the Etzion police facility for interrogation, which took place without the presence of a lawyer, as the law stipulates.  Nor did anyone tell him that he had the right to remain silent. At some point, the interrogators also wanted to get him to sign a form written in Hebrew. Since he does not speak the language, he refused. He says that he wasn’t afraid during the questioning.

After three months of interrogations and hearings, Mohammed was sentenced in a plea bargain to three months in prison and a fine of 3,000 shekels (about $860) – the prosecution had asked for a jail term of a year and a fine of 15,000 shekels. Tamimi was released two days later, as by then he had already been incarcerated for three months. Throughout the period, his parents weren’t allowed to visit their son even once. They only saw him in the courtroom, from a distance, but weren’t allowed to speak with him, or even ask how he was feeling. Routine procedure.

Mohammed was released on July 19. What did you find hardest in jail, we ask. The hardest thing for him, he says, was not being able to fall asleep at night for worrying about his family.

Brave lad. Respect and love.