Ahed Tamimi Speaks of Her Struggle: “All I Wish Is for Palestine to Be Free”

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In late 2016, investigative journalist Abby Martin had the opportunity to interview 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi. The two discussed the hardships of living under Israeli occupation as well as Tamimi’s future aspirations. It quickly becomes apparent why her oppressors are attempting to silence the teen and her family.

NABI SALEH, PALESTINE — The struggle for Palestinian human rights and children abused under Israeli occupation has burst into the international spotlight with the help of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi. Tamimi is no stranger to the Palestinian struggle or the spotlight — she has faced off with her oppressor far too many times in her short life.Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi has come to age under Israeli occupation, bestowing a unique and distressing childhood experience. Her family participates in weekly protests in Nabi Saleh — the small village, threatened by illegal settlements, in which they live. Tamimi’s family has repeatedly found itself the target of Israel’s violence as a result of its commitment to resisting occupation forces.

Tamimi, along with her family, has not bowed to the pressure, run from the persecution, or faltered, even after relatives have been injured and killed. Instead, they continue to stand up in the face of their oppressors, with Tamimi herself fighting back both verbally and physically on multiple occasions — such as when she fought off soldiers attempting to arrest her brother or when she was caught on video telling off a soldier who hurled a concussion grenade near her.

 

In late 2016, while in the West Bank, investigative journalist Abby Martin had the opportunity to interview Tamimi for the Empire Files, a documentary series airing on Telesur. The two discussed the hardships of living under Israeli occupation as well as Tamimi’s future aspirations. It quickly becomes apparent why her oppressors are attempting to silence the teen and her family.

 

Tamimi’s recent arrest

Ahed Tamimi Is escorted to a military court near occupied Jerusalem, Dec. 20, 2017. (AP/Oren Ziv)

Ahed Tamimi Is escorted to a military court near occupied Jerusalem, Dec. 20, 2017. (AP/Oren Ziv)

Moment’s before Tamimi was shown on tape attempting to physically force Israeli forces off her family’s land, her cousin Mohammad was shot in the head, point blank. Despite internal bleeding, Mohammad miraculously survived the ordeal.

A few days later, Israeli forces returned for Tamimi. In the middle of the night, the teen was violently arrested by armed forces. Along with Tamimi, her mother, aunt, and 20-year-old cousin have also been arrested. Tamimi’s mother was charged with incitement for simply uploading the video of her daughter to social media.

 

The Tamimi family is no stranger to Israeli aggression

Bassem Tamimi speaks in front of a poster showing his daughter Ahed at his home in Nabi Saleh near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Israel's hard-charging prosecution of his 16-year-old daughter who slapped two Israeli soldiers has trained a spotlight on her family and its role in near-weekly protests against Israeli occupation staged in several West Bank cities. (AP/Majdi Mohammed)

Bassem Tamimi speaks in front of a poster showing his daughter Ahed at his home in Nabi Saleh near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Israel’s hard-charging prosecution of his 16-year-old daughter who slapped two Israeli soldiers has trained a spotlight on her family and its role in near-weekly protests against Israeli occupation staged in several West Bank cities. (AP/Majdi Mohammed)

Following Tamimi’s recent arrest, her father took to Facebook, where he shared details of his family’s phones, cameras and laptops being stolen during a raid by Israeli forces in response to the incident. It was not his first time detailing such an experience. Tamimi’s father is a principal organizer of the weekly protests in their village.

Years prior, in 2011, Tamimi’s uncle Mostafa was killed after being hit by a tear-gas canister fired at close range. One year later her uncle Roshdy was shot and killed.

Most recently, Musaab, a young relative of Tamimi, was killed by Israeli forces when he was shot at close range. His death marked the first murder of a Palestinian by Israel in 2018.

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