The 11 year old brother of Isalm Tamimi- a 14 year old child who was arrested in Nabi Saleh during a night raid on the village- has been arrested this morning by the army in Nabi Saleh. Isalm Tamimi was interrogated for eight hours after his arrest early Sunday morning. Yesterday, the state asked for him to remain in jail until a hearing on Thursday.
In an escalation of the repression on unarmed demonstration in the West Bank, 14 year old Islam Tamimi was arrested from his home at 0200 on Sunday morning. It was the second time in roughly three weeks that he was taken by soldiers. However, the army moved him to the Ofer military jail instead of interrogating him on the spot and releasing him. After an eight hour session of interrogation on Sunday, Tamimi confessed to throwing stones during the weekly demonstrations against the occupation in Nabi Saleh. Tamimi’s lawyers were present in the police station and constantly pleaded with interrogators to talk with the child but were only given access to their client after five hours of interrogation. His parents, who have legal right to be present when a child is under investigation, were denied access to their son. Imagine a 14 year old child pulled from bed at 02:00 in the morning by fully armed soldiers and then interrogated without parents or lawyer present. Horrifying and sick.
After five hours of interrogation, lawyers were finally able to gain access to the horrified Tamimi and learned that he made the exact confession of stone throwing that the army was after. On Monday morning, Tamimi was brought before a military court. The state asked the court to hold Tamimi until Thursday when he was scheduled to have a trial. Tamimi’s defense requested to have the trial date closer because Tamimi is a child. The judge has yet to give a decision.
In a cruel twist of events, Israeli police and soldiers raided the village of Nabi Saleh Tuesday morning and arrested Tamimi’s 11 year old brother. The child is now being held with his brother and is undergoing the same interrogation process that his brother did on Sunday. Defense lawyers believe that this is a sick tactic designed to punish Tamimi for requesting a quicker trial date. The 11 year old has not been charged with any crime. However, the pressure of Israeli integrators and the absolute fear of being taken by armed soldiers almost always resulted in a confession of stone throwing whether or not it is the truth.
Beyond the headlines of the Palestine Papers, the arrest of Tamimi and his 11 year old brother demonstrate the inner workings of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and control of the Palestinian population. Israel is using one of the most advanced military machines in the world to raid small villages and arrest children. The children are put through traumatic and psychologically scarring experiences in order to glean false testimonies which are used against the leaders of unarmed movements of civil resistance. Numerous Palestinian Gandhi’s such as Bil’in’s Abdallah Abu Rahmah are thrown in jail based on these false testimonies. It is part of the cycle of Israeli repression of Palestinian civil resistance. Sadly,this story is one of hundreds that go unreported every week in the West Bank. This is the what maintenance of the Israeli occupation looks like.
UPDATE 13:47: There is now a large military presence in the village. The army has brought in a bulldozer and a number of trucks. Villagers are fearing that a house might be demolished today. The collective punishment continues.