The Deputy Knesset Speaker Bezalel Smotrich said 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenager who has become a symbol of Palestinian resistance against Israeli occupation, should have "gotten a bullet" for slapping the Israeli soldier.
"In my opinion, she should have gotten a bullet, at least in the kneecap. That would have put her under house arrest for the rest of her life," he wrote on Twitter Saturday.
Smotrich, a member of the extreme right-wing, nationalist, pro-settler Israeli party, Habayit Hayehudi, made the comment while responding to a tweet by journalist Yinon Magal. Magal had reposted the footage of Tamimi slapping the soldier, writing: "I’m watching this clip again and am so glad that Tamimi is still in jail. Sometimes, it’s good that the mills of justice grind slowly."
The right-wing Israeli politician has garnered widespread wrath from other politicians, activists and social media users for his disturbing comments.
"You should be ashamed of yourself! Should the hilltop youth from Samaria who threw stones at IDF soldiers last week also have been shot?” Michal Rozin of Meretz left-wing Israeli party said on Twitter responding to Smotrich's crass message, referring to violent settlers in the northern West Bank. “Oh, I forgot – the law is different for enemies ..."
"I don’t accept your excuses and explanations,” Rozin added. “You’re a thug and an inciter."
Ahed was charged with aggravated assault, obstructing the work of soldiers, and incitement, among other charges on Jan. 2. She was arrested on Dec. 19 after a video of her slapping two Israeli soldiers outside her home in the occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, in mid-December went viral.
The altercation took place a day after a rubber bullet fired by an Israeli soldier hit her 15-year old cousin, Mohammed Tamimi's face. After massive backlash against her arrest and trial in a military court despite being a minor, the military judge approved a plea deal that was represented to her by Israeli prosecutors. She is serving an 8-month sentence for less serious charges.
In February, Israel detained 10 of Ahed's relatives, along with her teen cousin who was shot in the face.
In the first two months of 2018, Israeli forces have arrested 1,319 Palestinians, including 274 minors, 23 women, and four journalists, making the total number of Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli jails 6,500, as of Feb. 28, 2018, per a March report compiled by several Palestinian prisoners' rights groups.