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Ahed Tamimi 'should have gotten a bullet', says senior Israeli MP

Deputy Knesset speaker Bezalel Smotrich says on Twitter that 17-year-old deserved to be shot in the knee - at the very least
Ahed Tamimi, who was 16 at the time of her arrest, has become a cause celebre for critics of Israel
Par MEE staff

A senior Israeli politician has said Ahed Tamimi should "have gotten a bullet" for slapping an Israeli soldier. 

"In my opinion, she should have gotten a bullet, at least in the kneecap," said Bezalel Smotrich, a member of the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home party, on Twitter. "That would have put her under house arrest for the rest of her life."

Smotrich, who acts as a deputy parliament speaker, was responding to journalist and former Jewish Home MP Yinon Magal, who had earlier tweeted, "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," alongside a clip of the slap.

Tamimi has become a cause celebre for critics of Israel, after videos of her confrontation with Israeli soldiers in her home in the occupied West Bank's Nabi Saleh were posted on Facebook.

The flare-up was ignited by Israeli forces' refusal to leave the Tamimi home in December, the same day her 15-year-old cousin Mohammed Tamimi was shot in the head with a steel-coated rubber bullet.

Soon after the confrontation Tamimi was arrested and later sentenced to eight months' imprisonment, with human rights groups such as Amnesty International calling for her to be released.

Smotrich's Twitter post has attracted criticism from within Israel and beyond.

Michal Rozin, another Israeli MP and longtime critic of Jewish Home, said in a Twitter reply that Smotrich was a "thug" and an "inciter" who should be ashamed of himself.

"Should the hilltop youth from Samaria who threw stones at IDF soldiers last week also have been shot? Oh, I forgot – the law is different for enemies," he said in reference to an illegal settler in the West Bank.

"I don't accept your excuses and explanations. You're a thug and an inciter," she added.

Meanwhile, Israeli human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky called Smotrich "a repulsive moron".

Smotrich is known for his inflammatory comments on Twitter.

Earlier this month, he called the Reform movement "a bunch of trolls" for attempting to place billboards at Tel Aviv airport informing women it is illegal for them to be compelled to change seats if an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man refuses to sit next to them.

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