Israel drags more Palestinian women to court for ‘slapping’ soldiers

Palestinian women take part in a protest against US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Gaza City, on Dec. 15, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 21 December 2017

Israel drags more Palestinian women to court for ‘slapping’ soldiers

OFER MILITARY COURT: Two more Palestinian women appeared in an Israeli military court on Thursday after a viral video of an alleged assault on Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank, an AFP journalist said.
Nariman Tamimi, 43, and Nour Naji Tamimi, 21, were detained in a case that has set Israeli and Palestinian social media alight.
The video filmed in the village of Nabi Saleh in the occupied West Bank shows Nour and her cousin Ahed Tamimi, 17, 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 after Ahed’s mother Nariman becomes involved.
A second video shows the two cousins telling the soldiers, apparently standing on the stairs of the family home, to leave.
The court was expected to decide on the cases of Nariman and Nour later Thursday.
Ahed, the primary instigator in the videos, appeared before a court on Wednesday and her detention was extended until Dec. 25.
She is accused of “assaulting a soldier, harming the security of the area, incitement, and other felonies,” according to court documents.
The Tamimi family are at the forefront of regular protests in Nabi Saleh, a frequent scene of demonstrations against Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.
The residents say part of the village’s land was confiscated by Israeli authorities and given to a nearby Israeli settlement.
The videos of the alleged assault were 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, but some called for tough responses in the face of seeming embarrassment.
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.

US declares Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land 'consistent' with international law

Updated 34 min 37 sec ago

US declares Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land 'consistent' with international law

  • The announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sparked anger among Palestinians
  • The move is the latest by the Trump administration seen as favoring the Israeli position over the Palestinians

WASHINGTON: The United States on Monday backed Israel’s right to build Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank by abandoning its four-decade position that they were “inconsistent with international law.”

The announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sparked anger among Palestinians who say the settlements are the main barrier to their future state.

The shift in US policy follows the Trump administration’s decision to relocate the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem last year, a move seen as undermining Palestinian claims to the eastern half of the city as a future capital.

Pompeo said US statements about the settlements on the West Bank - which Israel captured during a 1967 war - had been inconsistent, saying Democrat President Jimmy Carter in 1978 found they were not consistent with international law and Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1981 said he did not view them as inherently illegal.

“The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements is not, per se, inconsistent with international law,” Pompeo told reporters at the State Department, drawing criticism from a senior Palestinian figure even before his announcement.

“Another blow to international law, justice & peace,” Hanan Ashrawi, a veteran Palestinian negotiator and member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee, said on Twitter ahead of Pompeo’s statement.

The announcement marked the third major instance in which the Trump administration has sided with Israel and against stances taken by the Palestinians and Arab states even before unveiling its long-delayed Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

In 2017 Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel before opening the embassy in the city. US policy had previously been that the status of Jerusalem was to be decided by the parties to the conflict.

In March, Trump recognized Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights in a boost for Netanyahu that prompted a sharp response from Syria, which once held the strategic land.

Trump's move might have been designed to help Netanyahu as he struggles to stay in power. Israeli politics is deadlocked after two inconclusive elections this year. Former military chief Benny Gantz's centrist Blue and White party emerged neck and neck with Netanyahu following a September vote, and both leaders have struggled to put together a ruling coalition.

*With Reuters