An Israeli soldier who attempted to arrest a 12-year-old Palestinian boy was beaten off by a group of Palestinian women in his family.
IDF have called the incident a “violent provocation” by a family of celebrity activists.
A viral video has emerged of an unnamed Israeli soldier chasing down a boy whose arm is in a sling outside the village of Nabi Saleh, a frequent flashpoint for protests. As he pins the screaming 12-year-old Mohamed Tamimi down, the soldier is set upon by the boy’s family, including his mother, aunt, and sister.
In the clip, the soldier attempts to wriggle out of the grasp of the choking and biting relatives before being rescued by another soldier, who pulls him out, pushing away a swarm of relatives and activists who arrive at the scene. As he is led away, the visibly flustered IDF private throws down a flash grenade.
The father of the 12-year-old, Bassem Tamimi, who observed the entire incident from behind the camera, said on Facebook that his son had to be taken to hospital, and accused the Israelis of shooting another 9-year-old son two days earlier.
“We protect our family and our land through the resistance,” Tamimi said in another post. “People of the world, stand with Palestine. Stand with the human rights.”
Israel Defense Forces characterized Friday’s incident differently, calling it “a violent disturbance of the peace in Nabi Saleh, in which Palestinians threw stones at IDF forces that were in the place.”
“The youth who was photographed was identified by the lookout force as a stone-thrower, and because of this it was decided to detain him. At the time of the arrest, a violent provocation by a number of Palestinians developed, including women and children. In light of the violent altercation, the commander decided to not to go ahead with the detention,” it said in an online statement.
While dramatic pictures of the event have been electronically circulated around the world, several pro-Israel bloggers have accused the Tamimi family of creating a provocative situation, and then filming and editing it in a way that discredits Israeli soldiers and garners sympathy for the Palestinian cause. This is a practice known as Pallywood, and Bassem Tamimi is pointed to as one of its main proponents, with his daughter being given the mocking moniker Shirley Temper.
Tamimi has been arrested 8 times, but rose to fame when his then 12-year-old daughter, Ahed, was filmed confronting fully-armed Israeli soldiers over the arrest of her brother three years ago. The video went viral in the Muslim world, and Ahed was invited to breakfast with Turkey’s current president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who gave her an award for bravery.