WATCH: Threats, innuendo in Israel questioning of Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi
The family of Palestinian teen protest icon Ahed Tamimi on Monday released excerpts from a video in which an Israeli interrogator threatens the then-16-year-old with the arrest of her relatives if she refuses to cooperate. The interrogator also comments on her body, fair skin and “eyes of an angel.”
The interrogator, said to be an agent of the Israeli military intelligence branch, at times moves within inches of the teenager who doesn’t respond and repeatedly asserts her right to remain silent.
The Israeli military said a complaint of improper conduct by the investigator, filed by Tamimi’s lawyer, has been handed to the Justice Ministry and is being “thoroughly examined.”
Ahed’s father, Bassem, told reporters that the video is evidence of Israel’s failure to break his daughter. He portrayed Tamimi as a symbol of resistance to Israel’s 51-year-old military occupation. Her silence under pressure shows that “we are not victims, we are fighters for the cause of freedom of our people,” he said.
A West Bank-based rights group said a majority of minors have reported being verbally abused, intimated or humiliated in Israeli custody.
Tamimi is serving an eight-month prison term - the result of a plea deal - for slapping and kicking two Israeli soldiers outside her West Bank home in mid-December.
The teen’s arrest and full-throttle prosecution by Israel has garnered international attention. It has also touched on broader issues, such as the detention of Palestinian minors by Israeli - currently 356 - and the debate on what constitutes legitimate resistance to Israel’s rule over millions of Palestinians.