The elder brother of Ahed Tamimi - a 16-year-old activist whose act of resistance to an Israeli soldier went viral last year - was arrested from his house in the village of Nabi Saleh near northern Ramallah. 21-year-old Waed Tamimi became the fourth member of his family to be arrested since Ahed was taken awayin December. She remains in jail.
According Waed’s family members, almost a dozen security personnel raided their house in Ramallah on Thursday night and took him away without providing any reason.
The arrest of Waed comes at a time when an Israeli soldier, Elor Azaria, who was convicted of killing a Palestinian, Abdul Fatah Al Sharief, has been released after a jail term of merely nine months.
The residents of the Nabi Saleh, where the Tamimi family lives, said that such raids are a regular phenomenon in the village and often take place after the weekly Friday protests against Israel's military occupation of the West Bank.
"The arrest of Waed is just another attempt by Israel to break Nabi Saleh. This is the point of all of this. Israel wants to break the example of Nabi Saleh’s resistance to occupation.” Bassem Tamimi, his father, told reporters. Bassem himself has been arrested at least a dozen times.
Waed too has been arrested before. In 2015, Waed was imprisoned for almost a year, "He was just 19 years then when they first picked him up," his father added.
In a one-minute video that went viral on social media in December, Ahed was seen shouting angrily while slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier on patrol. Just minutes before, her cousin had been shot in the head with a rubber bullet during an incident of stone-pelting in the village. Her cousin fell into a coma for a short while after the incident. Subsequently she was given an eight-month jail term. Her mother Nariman and another cousin, Nur, were also arrestedin the aftermath of the video.
Following Ahed’s arrest, a massivesolidaritycampaignwas launched by organizations across the world, seeking her release.
Waed was not the only person arrested on Thursday. According to reports, eight youth were arrested in different night raids at Jenin, Jericho, and Bethlehem. Israeli forces also raided the house of a senior Fatah official and a member of its Revolutionary Council, Adnan Gheith, while allegedly ransacking his home in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.
Palestinian figures estimate that almost 6,500 Palestinians, including three hundred juveniles, are still inside Israel prisons.