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Israel charges cousin of ‘Palestinian Joan of Arc’ Ahed Tamimi over West Bank scuffle with IDF


Israeli authorities have filed charges with a military court against Nour Tamimi, cousin of iconic activist Ahed Tamimi. Both women featured in a viral video in which they accosted two IDF soldiers in their home village.

Nour, 20, and Ahed, 16, confronted the two soldiers in the village of Nabi Saleh. Footage of them kicking and slapping the Israelis has since gone viral among Palestinians and their supporters. Ahed, a child protester who took part in previous anti-Israeli actions, has attained an iconic status among Palestinians.

On Sunday, the Israeli authorities filed charges with a military court at the IDF’s Ofer Base. Ahed and her mother Nariman are to stand before the court on Monday to learn whether they will be charged over the incident. The three women were arrested by the IDF days after the incident in Nabi Saleh happened.

According to the family, the confrontation happened in the yard of their home. Footage shows that Ahed was a more aggressive participant, though neither woman appears to actually intend to harm the Israeli soldiers. The latter did not respond to the kicks and slaps and eventually withdrew from the yard.

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Nour has been charged with aggravated assault of a soldier and disturbing soldiers carry out their duties, according to court papers. The court will decide on Monday whether she will remain in detention.

While critics say the Tamimi family used the teen Ahed as a pawn in their anti-Israeli activities, supporters of the Palestinians insist she was engaged in legitimate resistance to the five-decade illegal occupation of the West Bank. Another case involving Ahed occurred in 2015, when she was filmed biting and slapping an Israeli soldier as he was trying to arrest a 12-year-old boy.

The Israeli side called it a provocation orchestrated by the Tamimis for the cameras, while some pro-Israeli bloggers gave Ahed the mocking moniker ‘Shirley Temper’ for her part in the incident.

The family’s activism has taken a toll on its members. In 2011, Mustafa Tamimi was killed at a protest after being hit by a tear gas canister fired by an Israeli soldier. The soldier was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Ahed’s Twitter account was deleted last week without explanation.

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