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Israel arrests 10 Tamimi family members

Protesters hold posters and banners during a protest in solidarity with the16-year-old Palestinian Ahed al-Tamimi, who was taken into custody by Israeli soldiers, and Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails at Grand Central Terminal in New York, United States on January 5, 2017 [Atılgan Özdil / Anadolu Agency]
Hundreds of people gather to stage a demonstration in support of the 16-year-old Palestinian Ahed al-Tamimi in New York, US on 31 January 2018 [Atılgan Özdil/Anadolu Agency]

The family of Muhammad Tamimi, who lost a third of his skull after being attacked by Israeli soldiers last year, have proven wrong Israeli officials who accused them of inventing the story, according to the Times of Israel.

Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Major General Yoav Mordechai contested the Tamimi family’s story of how Israeli soldiers shot 15-year-old Muhammad in the head, instead claiming that he sustained his injury by falling off his bike.

The December incident has been at the centre of the case against 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi, who was arrested after a video of her slapping Israeli soldiers went viral. She had heard that Israeli soldiers shot her cousin just minutes before.

Read: Israel extends detention of Ahed Tamimi and her mother

“The culture of lies continues among young and old in the Tamimi family,” Mordechai wrote in both Hebrew and Arabic posts, claiming the family were con artists.

However, the Tamimi family responded to the allegations by sharing official medical records from the Istishari Hospital in Ramallah and pictures of Muhammad’s x-ray, which clearly show the presence of a rubber bullet in his skull.

Read: UN slams Israel for violating Palestinian teen’s rights

“What began with a far-fetched attempt to claim that we are not a real family at all has now moved to the denial of documented reality,” a statement released by the family read, referring to revelations last month that an Israeli committee conducted secret investigations into whether the Tamimis were “real”.

“There is no limit to how low Israel is willing to sink in its attempt to discredit the Tamimis’ just struggle for liberation against Israeli colonialism.”

Israel made the claims after Muhammad was arrested along with nine members of his family in his home town of Nabi Saleh during a West Bank raid. Muhammad is due to undergo a second surgery on his head next week.

His father reportedly pleaded with soldiers who came to arrest him, allegedly for taking part in a protest, but Israeli medics found him “fit for custody”. He was released later in the day after being questioned under caution.

It was during his questioning that Muhammad, who was questioned without a parent or lawyer present, was pressured into telling interrogators that he had fallen off of his bike for fear that standing by his original story would get him into further trouble.

״Israel arrested an injured, post-traumatic 15-year-old in the middle of the night and got him to lie out of fear of being sent to prison in his condition,” their statement said.

The Tamimi family of Nabi Saleh is well known internationally for their activism against the Israeli occupation.

Read: Judge orders closed trial for Ahed Tamimi

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