Tamimi family
© Abbas Momani / Agence France-Presse
Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas (C-back) receives at his headquarters in Ramallah on September 2, 2015, the Tamimi family.
Days after Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi was imprisoned for slapping an Israeli soldier in her hometown of Nabi Saleh, members of her extended family living in Deir Nitham were threatened by an Israeli captain during a raid: "The day will come when you wish you are not a Tamimi." In early January, the Tamimis from Deir Nitham buried 16 year old Musaab al-Tamimi after he was shot on the neck during clashes with Israeli soldiers. Musaab was the first Palestinian killed by the Israeli Defense Forces in 2018.

The long-term resistance of Tamimi family to the Israeli occupation is becoming something of an obsession for Israeli authorities. In some cases, they are losing their grip on reality. Two years ago, Knesset member and former ambassador to the US Michael Oren initiated a parliamentary committee investigation to find out if the Tamimis were "not a real family... not genuine, and was specially put together for propaganda" purposes by the Palestinians, in which case this would represent "exploitation of children". Unsurprisingly, this conspiracy theory "didn't reach unequivocal conclusions."

Contrary to Oren's show of concern for the Tamimi children, the IDF has targeted members of the family irrespective of their age or innocence. On the 26th of February at 3 a.m., the Israeli military raided Nabi Saleh and arrested ten members of the Tamimi family for no apparent reason. Half of them are minors, including Ahed's cousin Mohammed. The arrests were carried out after collectively punishing the neighbourhood by spraying it with 'skunk water', a putrid substance normally used to disperse crowds:


On December 19th last year, right before Ahed was recorded slapping the Israeli soldier, 15 year old Mohammed was shot in the head by a rubber coated steel bullet fired by the IDF during Palestinian demonstrations against the Trump administration's decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. Mohammed spent days in a coma and underwent several surgeries before going back home with half his skull missing, and was scheduled for reconstructive surgery on March 5th.

So why was Mohamed arrested that night and 'questioned' by the IDF only to be released a few hours later? That same day, in an incredible display of cynicism and dishonesty, Major General Yoav Mordechai, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), claimed on a Facebook post in Arabic that Mohammed had 'confessed' that his injury was not the result of a bullet, but of falling off his bicycle and hitting the handlebars with the head.

Mohammed Tamimi Facebook Mordechai
© Haaretz
Lying Israeli army official Mordechai says Tamimi's teen cousin 'admitted' head wounds not caused by bullet, but by bike crash.
The post included the words 'Fake News' sealed in red on top of Mohammed's story. Mordechai sarcastically commented:
What is the truth about Mohammed Tamimi? His father claimed that his son had a rubber bullet in his skull and that the doctors had to remove part of his skull in order take it out. Wonder of wonders. Today, the boy himself confessed to the police and to COGAT that in December his skull was injured when he was riding his bicycle. [...]

A culture of lies and incitement continues for young people and adults in the Tamimi family.
This is evidently absurd and can be easily demonstrated to be a lie. Israeli newspaper Haaretz gathered eyewitness accounts that confirm the shooting of Mohammed, and it also had access to medical reports, CAT scan and images of the bullet fractures removed from the child's skull.

Mohammed Tamimi bullet CAT scan
© Nabi Saleh Popular Committee
This is not a bicycle: The bullet removed from Tamimi's head (L), and CT scan of the bullet in Tamimi's head.
According to Nabi Saleh residentes, Mohammed "told the police he had been hurt in a bike accident and not shot by the IDF so that he would be released after being detained... He was scared and worried that if he said he had been shot, this would be used as evidence against him and his detention would be extended". Mohammed himself explained:
"We were in a car on our way to the interrogations and there were two Israeli officials who kept beating me in my face, back, everywhere and kept telling me that I had to admit it was a bicycle accident," Mohammad told Mondoweiss.

The Israeli officials also confiscated medicine from Mohammad's pocket; medicine which is crucial for his recovery. They refused to give it back to him unless he admitted that Israeli soldiers did not actually shoot him, Mohammad says.

"I was very scared and I didn't want them to continue beating me, so I confessed," the 15-year-old explained.
So while recovering from his head injury, Mohammed was arrested and interrogated in an effort to force him to 'admit' that he was not actually shot in the head by Israeli soldiers. Since Mohammed's cousin, Ahed, slapped and kicked the Israeli soldier in response to the brutal attack on her cousin previously the same day, and she has by now become a powerful symbol of Palestinian resistance, the Israelis would like to erase the event in order to claim that Ahed's reaction was unjustified. Indeed, she stands accused of 'assaulting' and 'threatening' an officer - as if a 16 year old girl could victimize a fully armed and trained soldier with her bare hands - but her true crime was not submitting to the abuse. For this, Israelis feel 'humiliated'.

There is no question about what happened to Mohammed and who did it. Israel has a long history of imprisoning, torturing and extracting 'confessions' out of Palestinian children. Amnesty International just confirmed this in its annual report, indicating that "many [Palestinians killed in 2017], including children, were shot and unlawfully killed while posing no immediate threat to life", while some of the killings "appeared to have been extrajudicial executions". Furthermore, Israel "continues to substitute administrative detention for criminal prosecution... holding hundreds of Palestinians, including children, civil society leaders and NGO workers, without charge or trial under renewable orders, based on information withheld from detainees and their lawyers... Israeli soldiers and police and Israel Security Agency [Shin Bet] officers subject Palestinian detainees, including children, to torture and other ill-treatment with impunity, particularly during arrest and interrogation."

The only question is, did Major General Mordechai really think the public would respond with anything other than disgust at his cruel and crude attempt at twisting the truth?

Sadly, Israel's long and informal policy of lying and obscuring the truth has recently been formalized by the Knesset in a law that prohibits organizations such as Breaking the Silence - formed by Israeli whistleblower military veterans - from criticizing the Israeli Army. If the precious few voices in Israel that stand for truth and against oppression are silenced, it is left to the rest of the world to speak truth to the corrupt and psychopathic elite.

ahed tamimi
© Jim Fitzpatrick
"There is a real Wonder Woman" Graphic