Women who slapped Israeli soldiers arrested

Palestinian Ahed Tamimi, 17, right, a well-known campaigner against Israel's occupation, appears at a military court at the Israeli-run Ofer prison in the West Bank village of Betunia on Wednesday. (AFP)
Updated 20 December 2017
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Women who slapped Israeli soldiers arrested

RAMALLAH: Israeli forces arrested a third Palestinian woman on Wednesday in connection with a viral video showing Israeli soldiers being slapped in the occupied West Bank.
Soldiers arrested Nour Naji Tamimi, 21, from the village of Nabi Saleh north of Ramallah in the West Bank, residents said.
Cousin Ahed Tamimi, 17, a well-known campaigner against Israel’s occupation, was arrested on Tuesday along with her mother.
The video shot last Friday, apparently with a mobile telephone, showed two Palestinian girls approaching two Israeli soldiers, before shoving, kicking and slapping them while filming on mobile phones.
The heavily armed soldiers do not respond in the face of what appears to be an attempt to provoke rather than seriously harm them. They then move backward.
The army confirmed it had made a third arrest.
The cousin is expected to be brought before an Israeli military court on Wednesday.
The video appears to have been filmed on the steps of the Tamimi house, during a day of protests against US President Donald Trump’s controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
It has been widely picked up by Israeli media, which often accuse Palestinian protesters of seeking to provoke the army into responses which are then filmed.
Israeli politicians hailed the restraint of the soldiers as evidence of the military’s values.
Palestinians on social media criticized Ahed’s arrest in the middle of the night, arguing it is the people’s right to resist military occupation.
A member of the Tamimi family was shot in the head with a rubber bullet during protests on Friday, the family said.


Joining Daesh was a disastrous mistake, say former female members

Updated 4 min 27 sec ago
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Joining Daesh was a disastrous mistake, say former female members

  • Many in the camps remain die-hard supporters of Daesh
  • The women insisted they had not been active Daesh members and had no role in its atrocities

AL-HOL CAMP, SYRIA: The women say it was misguided approach, naivety, a search for something to believe in or youthful rebellion. Whatever it was, it led them to travel across the world to join Daesh.

Now after the fall of the last stronghold of the group’s “caliphate,” they say they regret it and want to come home.

The Associated Press interviewed four foreign women who joined the caliphate and are now among tens of thousands of Daesh family members, mostly women and children, crammed into squalid camps in northern Syria overseen by the US-backed Kurdish-led forces who spearheaded the fight against the extremist group.

Many in the camps remain die-hard supporters of Daesh. Women in general were often active participants in Daesh’s rule. Some joined women’s branches of the “Hisba,” the religious police who brutally enforced the group’s laws. Others helped recruit more foreigners. Freed Yazidi women have spoken of cruelties inflicted by female members of the group.

Within the fences of Al-Hol camp, Daesh supporters have tried to recreate the caliphate as much as possible. Some women have re-formed the Hisba to keep camp residents in line, according to officers from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces guarding the camp. While the AP was there, women in all-covering black robes and veils known as niqab tried to intimidate anyone speaking to journalists; children threw stones at visitors, calling them “dogs” and “infidels.”

The four women interviewed by the AP said joining Daesh was a disastrous mistake. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces gave the AP access to speak to the women at two camps under their administration.

“How could I have been so stupid, and so blind?” said Kimberly Polman, a 46-year-old Canadian woman who surrendered herself to the SDF earlier this year.

The women insisted they had not been active Daesh members and had no role in its atrocities, and they all said their husbands were not fighters for Daesh. Those denials and much in their accounts could not be independently confirmed. The interviews took place with Kurdish security guards in the room. To many, their expressions of regret likely ring hollow, self-serving or irrelevant. Traveling to the caliphate, the women joined a group whose horrific atrocities were well known, including sex enslavement of Yazidi women, mass killings of civilians and grotesque punishments of rule-breakers.

Their pleas to return home point to the thorny question of what to do with the men and women who joined the caliphate and their children. Governments around the world are reluctant to take back their nationals.

The SDF complains it is being forced to shoulder the burden of dealing with them.

Al-Hol is home to 73,000 people who streamed out of Daesh’s last pockets, including the village of Baghouz, the final site to fall to the SDF in March. Nearly the entire population of the camp is women or children, since most men were taken for screening by the SDF to determine if they were fighters.