The father of Muhammad Tamimi, who was at the center of a viral video of Palestinian women and children preventing his arrest by an IDF soldier, spoke out on Sunday in support of his children's involvement in demonstrations in the Nabi Saleh village in the West Bank.
"We have the right to resist. Our children are doing their duty and must be strong," Bassem Tamimi told The Jerusalem Post, when asked how he feels about his children's participation in West Bank protests against soldiers. He noted, however, that they are not against the soldiers, but against the occupation.
Muhammad's mother and sister were among those filmed on Friday hitting the soldier and trying to pull the boy away from him. This isn't the first time the family had made headlines for encounters with the IDF - Ahed, 14, was filmed two years ago shaking her fist at an Israeli soldier in a video that went viral.
According to the IDF, the reason for Muhammad's attempted arrest on Friday was stone-throwing, a claim his father rejects.
"There is no safe place to be," he tells the Post
, making no distinction between soldiers, settlers or Jewish extremists . "Because a lot of time they target houses, and there is fire on the houses." He gives the example of the Dawabshe family who were the victims of an arson attack
on their home in Duma in July, which killed a Palestinian toddler and his father. The attack was allegedly perpetrated by Jewish terrorists.
Responding to comments made by right-wing Israeli politicians and activists on the heels of Friday's incident, that IDF soldiers should open fire immediately if they are attacked, Bassem Tamimi claims that it makes no difference if they are attacked or not: "they will open fire anyway," he asserts.