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British MPs express support for detained Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi

16-year-old Palestinian Ahed Al-Tamimi appears in court after she was taken into custody by Israeli soldiers in Ramallah, West Bank on 20 December 2017 [The Palestinian Information Center/Facebook]

British MPs have expressed support for detained Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi, who was taken from her home in Nabi Saleh by Israeli occupation forces in the early hours of Tuesday.

An Early Day Motion (EDM) tabled yesterday has already attracted signatures from a dozen parliamentarians, including primary sponsor Philippa Whitford (SNP), and co-sponsors

Kelvin Hopkins (Labour), Grahame Morris (Labour), Tommy Sheppard (SNP), Hannah Bardell (SNP).

Conservative MP Crispin Blunt, former chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, was also a co-sponsor of the EDM.

The EDM states the “deep concern” of MPs “that in the early hours of 19 December an Israeli Border Police unit broke into the Tamimi family home during a night raid in Nabi Saleh and arrested 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi, taking her away for interrogation”.

The motion goes on to state Ahed is being “targeted” by Israeli authorities “because she is the daughter of parents who are leading activists in the popular struggle against the occupation in the village of Nabi Saleh”.

Corbyn: Arrested Palestinian teen ‘should not be in prison’

It also further “acknowledges the reality of repression against ordinary Palestinians and notes the disproportionate response to any action taken by Ahed and rejects the routine use of night arrests and interrogation of minors by Israeli military forces which fuel further hatred and division.”

The MPs urge “the immediate unconditional release” of Tamimi, and ask the government “to make representations to Israel that actions carried out by the occupying power that are not necessitated by genuine security concerns are in violation of the laws governing military occupation.”

The concern in Westminster over Tamimi’s arrest comes after UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn spoke out about the case, saying that the Palestinian teen “should not be in prison”.

In a video posted by journalist Clayton Swisher, Corbyn is asked about Tamimi’s case by Swisher’s six-year-old daughter.

“She shouldn’t be in prison because children should never be in prison”, Corbyn replied. “And if people are standing up for their rights, then they should be allowed to do that.”

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