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Ahed Tamimi: The symbol of the new defiant Palestinian generation

Ahed Al-Tamimi can be seen protesting during a demonstration against Israel's treatment on Palestinians [2 Suns Shamsaan/Facebook]
Ahed Al-Tamimi can be seen protesting during a demonstration against Israel's treatment on Palestinians [2 Suns Shamsaan/Facebook]

A girl has defied the occupation with unrivalled courage. Over the past years, the media has broadcasted videos of her daringly confronting the heavily armed occupation soldiers, face to face, and demanding that they leave the territories they are forcibly occupying, indifferent to their threats and attacks. This blond Palestinian girl is 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi who grew up in the village of Nabi Saleh in the West Bank. This village is experienced in the art of popular resistance and mass confrontations with armed occupation soldiers and settlers.

Early on in her childhood, Ahed has mastered the use of school principle language with the aggressive armed soldiers. She addresses them like rebellious children and expertly reprimands them and degrades their army. While doing so, she uses her own weapon: a smart phone that records her moments of defiance for her people and the whole world to see.

The entire Tamimi family is involved in this tradition, after realising the impact the use of a phone camera has in cornering the occupation soldiers and curbing their usual aggressive behaviour. The soldiers cannot confront a camera that exposes their harassment of the Palestinians across the world and openly reveals their faces.

The occupation did not take into account the fact that the smart phone would be invented and would be added to the Palestinian trenches during clashes and confrontations in Palestinian cities, villages and refugee camps. Today, after the Palestinian people are winning the battle of image by exposing their reality exactly the way it is, the Israeli propaganda is busy trying to distract the world from this reality and whitewash the military occupation and illegal settlements. The Israeli propaganda machine also tries to justify the construction of walls and imposing a new system of isolation on the Palestinians. While, the Palestinians know that their struggle on the ground will not be decided or won by the camera, they are aware of its impact, at least in depriving the occupation’s propaganda from winning the hearts and minds of the world.

Read: Life as a young British Palestinian activist in the UK

Ahed Tamimi was arrested on 19 December 2017. Her mother was then arrested after visiting her at the Israeli army’s detention centre a few hours later. The arrest occurred after Ahed gave the occupation soldiers a dose of admonishment after they gathered around her family’s home in order to attack the young Palestinians in the village. The courageous young girl demanded that they leave immediately, and once they tried to beat her, she, along with her sister, delivered blows and kicks, forcing them to flee. Millions on social networking sites witnessed this, thanks to the smart phone camera.

A young photo of Palestinian Ahed Tamimi and her parents

Ahed is one of the symbols of a Palestinian generation full of boldness which refuses to keep their anger bottled up. It is a generation that announces its defiance and does not care about the resulting beatings, arrests and even field executions that the occupation forces have increasingly committed against Palestinian minors since October 2015. It has become easy for the soldiers to open fire on these minors in cold blood.

Ahed Tamimi is an example of the development of a new generation of the successive Palestinian intifada generations. This generation that declares its rebellion against the reality of apartheid and systematic intimidation practiced against them by the occupation forces, this includes the arrest campaigns occurring at dawn every morning, accompanied by military attacks on villages and raiding of homes at bedtime. Thousands of Palestinian children have several experiences etched into their memories of being awoken by heavily armed soldiers in their bedrooms, some of whom are masked, and Ahed is one of these children. She had witnessed the arrest of her family members, including her father, Bassem Tamimi, who has been arrested nine times so far, and still seems more determined than ever to challenge the occupation.

Read more: The future of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict

This Palestinian generation, which is full of anger and rage caused by the reality of the military occupation, does not know the meaning of fear. A reckless American president giving Jerusalem to the Israeli military occupation was enough to ignite the mass popular Palestinian anger that lurks beneath the surface. This seems to be a new wave of anger that has begun to take on the characteristics of an intifada, with the use of stones and smart phones.

The Israeli leadership may believe that it has finally conquered Jerusalem, has cut the path to the establishment of a Palestinian statement, and ensured its control over the land. However, this arrogant logic leads it to a serious predicament, it itself created. The army forces, with their weapons and ammunition, have to chase children in their villages everyday and engage in daily clashes with angry youths at various crossroads and checkpoints. These disturbing incidents are seen by the world, such as the incident when 15 armed soldiers beat a young helpless unarmed Palestinian boy as old as their children. This boy is Fawzi Al-Junaidi, who was subjected to their big fists while he continued to unflinchingly hold his head up high. He is also another symbol of a Palestinian generation the Israeli occupation will not be able to claim domination over.

ArticleAsia & AmericasIsraelMiddle EastOpinionPalestineUS
  • Fasdunkle

    “This blond Palestinian girl is 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi”

    So far today in MEMO she is both 16 and 17.

    5 years ago she was 13.

  • ricck lineheart

    After the U.S. Nikki Haley comedy of errors in the U.N. we will Im sure see a unraveling of support for Israel as the world should .

  • kirby1

    The Tamimis have never made a secret of their conviction that the Palestinians have “the right to armed resistance,” and they have consistently refused “to forswear bloodshed” or condemn terrorism. Indeed, Tamimi family members who have shed blood “remain much-loved” in Nabi Saleh—including Ahlam Tamimi, the unrepentant mastermind of the 2001 Sbarro pizzeria bombing in Jerusalem that killed 15 civilians, including seven children and a pregnant woman, and wounded 130 other people

    http://www.thetower. org/article/how-a-family-became-a-propaganda-machine/

  • Helen4Yemen


    She is defiant only because the camera is rolling! She is a fake, a stage actress.

    The entire family act in front of cameras and make their living off their cowardly acts of

    pretending to be the courageous ones. Look at her videos when she was young, she would

    start flexing her muscles only after she looks back towards her mother and the signal is

    given to start acting and the camera is rolling. I am 100% Palestinian supporter, what

    motivation do I have? I have watched this family doing stage acting aginst the Khazar

    invaders of Palestine.

  • Saleem Essack

    By the will of ALLAH, these ZIONIST TRANSGRESSORS WILL BE DEFEATED. It is now time for EVERY MUSLIM BROTHER & SISTER to STAND UP and be heard. Our Brothers and Sisters who are being OPPRESSED throughout the world are in need of the entire Muslim Ummah”s support. All these atrocities are a calculated act to immobilise the TRUE MESSAGE OF OUR BELOVED NABI ( SAW).

    • Alexander Malinowski

      Opposite is true. And Muslims are hardly politically united.

  • Defiance alone cannot save the Palestinians, only true unity and change can do so.

  • Alexander Malinowski

    She looks very good. Is she Christian?

    • sheepcreeper

      I have been told yes. She is one of the half million Palistenian Christians living there since the days of Christ.

  • naomi essamha

    Do you think, her children will become state ofiicers like zipi livni whose mother inaugurated terrorism in the marktplaces by putting a bomb in a palestinian market in the fourtes and killing more than 50 people? at that time, the israelis were proud to telle they can use bombs iin the markets whereas palestinians where ignorants, uncivilised who ignor those things.

    • kirby1

      Actual Facts with regards to the Palestinian culture of hate and death:

      Schools in the United States are often named for historical figures, with a large majority of them having the names of Presidents – Lincoln, Jefferson, Kennedy, Roosevelt – and other public and historical figures. The educational message transmitted is one of patriotism, continuity, and honor to those who so notably contributed to their country.

      In the Palestinian Authority, however, the situation is somewhat different. There, dozens of schools are named for murderers. A list compiled by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) finds 31 schools named for terrorists and Nazi collaborators, thereby “presenting murderers who targeted civilians as role models for Palestinian ‎children.”

      Another 22 schools glorify Martyrdom in general, and one school is even named for a Hitler ‎associate and Nazi war criminal responsible for the deaths of thousands. Children in ‎such schools interviewed on PA TV have explained that studying there turned the terrorists into role models for them, who then want to “reach ‎the level” of the terrorist their school is named after. ‎[Official PA TV, March 27, 2014]‎