The family of Ahed Tamimi Monday released footage of her interrogation by two Israeli officers on Dec. 26, in which she can be seen silent, appearing calm despite intimidation attempts.
In the video, then 16-year-old Ahed can be seen interrogated by two men without the presence of a female officer or a legal guardian, a policy required by law. The men take an intimidating stance on Ahed and one of them speaks to her in broken Arabic, threatening her with arresting more members of her family and village Nabi Saleh.
“If you don't give us what we want we will arrest everyone in this video. You know Nour, Marwan, Osama, Marah... we will take them all if you don't cooperate. It's in your hands... they will talk if you don't” one of the interrogators, apparently a member of the Israeli military intelligence agency (Aman), tells Ahed as he demands her to identify people in videos shown to her.
But as interrogators sit close to her with their legs open, using an intimidating tone and threatening her, Ahed only breaks her silence to remind her interrogators she has the right to remain silent.
“Who is she?” says the police interrogator referring to a person in a video, only to get “I choose to remain silent” as an answer from Ahed.
“The single purpose of this interrogation was to break the symbolism of defiance that she represents by trying to have her let go of her right to remain silent. She did not,” said Bassem Tamimi, Ahed's father, in a press conference in Ramallah Monday.
According to Bassem, Ahed was interrogated for about 10 days straight after her detention. When the video was taken at the Shaar Binyamin police station, Ahed had been detained for one week, including days of solitary confinement and sleep deprivation.
“My little sister is blonde and her eyes are like yours…,” the Aman officer tells Ahed in an odd way, who then yells at her that she's too white to go to the beach. “How are you in the sun? Like my sister? Red, red, red?”
Israeli authorities are obliged to hand in excerpts of interrogation videos, when the suspect is a minor, if requested by the family. The video was then handed to media outlets, days after another internet news site published an exclusive report on it.
Tamimi's lawyer Gaby Lasky had complained to the attorney general multiple times about the improper behavior of one of the interrogators, accusing him of sexual harassment, but the state proved unwilling to investigate the Israeli military actions against the teen.
"You have eyes like an angel," one of the interrogators tells Ahed, according to The Daily Beast report on the full footage, to which she responded with a cold stare and silence. He also keeps comparing her with his sister, saying she spends “all his money on clothes,” just as revealed by the partial video released Monday.
Lasky called the sexual harassment of Ahed “a gross violation of the law,” and complained about the fact that her client, a minor girl, was interrogated by two men, without the presence of a female officer or an interrogator specialized in questioning minors.
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.
She is currently serving an 8-month jail sentence in the Ofer military camp near Ramallah, after reaching a plea bargain deal with military prosecutors last month.
An anonymous source had told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that the military court felt the need to put an end to the legal proceedings because they were bringing significant negative coverage from international media and human rights and social organizations, damaging the already-fragile army's reputation.