‘For her, time is running out’: A mother’s desperate plea to get her bloodied and battered daughter out of Hamas captivity


The parents of activists Ahed Tamimi have been in despair for years. The 18-year-old Palestinian girl has been held in Israeli prison since July 2017 after being arrested for her perceived affiliation with the militant Hamas group and for protests against Israel. Ahed’s father, Bassem, has continually asked Israeli authorities to release his daughter but each request has gone unanswered. The family has now resorted to reaching out publicly for Ahed’s release. In an op-ed in the Guardian, Bassem implored that “for her, time is running out.”

In the passionate plea, Bassem speaks of the harsh treatment Ahed has endured during her captivity. He described her as being kept in an isolation wing with no contact with other prisoners, an environment in which she could easily become “mentally fragile”. He worries that she is being subjected to psychological torture and deteriorating medical attention.

Bassem went on to express his family’s pride in their daughter’s activism and strength in spite of her suffering. He described Ahed’s “peaceful protests and demonstrations” that have always been peaceful and non-violent. He also highlighted the lack of due legal process in the Israeli court system where Ahed is regularly denied a lawyer to present her case.

The piece concluded with an urgent call for action to free Ahed and the many other Palestinian activists, including 16-year-old feminist icon Shireen Issawi whose “incarceration in Israel’s military courts” has sparked an international outcry. He urged the UK and international institutions to put pressure on Israel to abide by international laws and release the prisoners, such as Ahed, “as soon as possible”.

It is unclear whether Bassem’s plea will lead to actual change or freedom for his daughter. But it has triggered renewed awareness of the inhumane treatment of Palestinian prisoners, including minors, in Israeli prisons. Ahed’s story serves as a reminder of the courage and resilience of young Palestinians who continue to fight for their rights in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

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