Palestine's Al-Tamimi family: A history of defiance

Resistance icon Ahed al-Tamimi and her parents tell why they refuse to be cowed by Israel’s brutal occupation

Palestine's Al-Tamimi family: A history of defiance

World Bulletin / News Desk

Teenage Palestinian resistance icon Ahed al-Tamimi, who on Sunday was released after an eight-month stint in Israeli custody, now hopes to return to her normal life.

The 17-year-old has some very bad memories of the Israeli forces who killed, arrested and injured several of her family members in recent years.

Ahed said: “I will continue resisting the Israeli occupation and am ready to face them again if they enter our home.”

She added: “It is the destiny of the Palestinian people to resist the occupation.”

As for her ambitions in the upcoming period, she said she hopes to study international law with a view to “defending Palestinian children and the cause of our people”.

While in Israeli custody, Ahed managed to obtain a high school diploma.

Ahed was detained by Israeli forces last December after she was filmed slapping an Israeli soldier during a raid on her home.

In March, an Israeli court slapped her with an eight-month prison term for “attacking” Israeli security personnel.

Born on Jan. 31, 2001 in the village of Nabi Saleh near the West Bank city of Ramallah, al-Tamimi hails from a family known for defying Israel’s decades-long occupation.

Several of her family members, including her parents and brothers, have been repeatedly arrested by the Israeli authorities.

In 2012, her uncle, Rushdie al-Tamimi, was shot dead by Israeli troops in Nabi Saleh. In 1993, her aunt, Bassima al-Tamimi, was beaten to death by an Israeli policeman while attending her son’s trial.

Since her early childhood, Ahed attended weekly anti-occupation rallies in her village.

During these rallies, her parents recalled, she would yell and shout insults at Israeli troops.

Her mother, Nariman, who was also recently detained for eight months, told Anadolu Agency: “I had a difficult time while in detention. I was subjected to harsh interrogations and held in solitary confinement for 15 days, while receiving news of the arrest of my son, Waed, and the martyrdom of my cousin, Ezzedine.”

“If we stay in our homes, we may die by fire, like the Dawabshah family,” Nariman added. “If my child goes to the mosque, he could be burnt alive like Mohamed Abu Khudair.”

“We have no choice but to resist the occupation,” she said. “My daughter Ahed has become a model for all the sons of Nabi Saleh.”

“I am the sister of a martyr and two of my uncles were martyred by the Israeli occupation,” she went on. “My eldest brother was injured by Israeli forces in Lebanon and my father spent many years in Israeli prisons.”

She urged the international media to report on the many other detainees currently languishing in Israeli prisons, especially children.

“The Israeli authorities have threatened my home with demolition, while homes for Jewish settlers -- who came to our country only a few years ago -- are being built all around us,” Nariman lamented.

“From a very young age, my daughter has faced the Israeli occupation,” the mother recalled. “She took part in the marches and stood up to the Israeli army to defend her family and people.”

Sitting next to his wife, Bassem al-Tamimi, Ahed’s father, told Anadolu Agency: “I hope my daughter has a peaceful future and beautiful life far from the harassment of the Israeli occupation.”

“The occupation comes to our homes to assault us. We don’t go to them. That’s why resistance is an obligation,” he added.

Between 1988 and 2013, Bassem was jailed by the Israeli authorities nine separate times, during which he was subjected to various kinds of torture.

“Our family has suffered deeply as a result of the occupation,” he said. “My sister was martyred in 1993 and my cousin and son -- along with several close friends -- were all shot dead by Israeli troops.”

Addressing the occupation, Bassem asserted: “You must get out of our lives. And the international community must not remain silent. It is time to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine.”

Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Ağustos 2018, 11:25