The Israeli army declared the central occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh -- home to imprisoned teenage activist Ahed al-Tamimi -- a closed military zone on Saturday, closing off all entrances and exits.
Official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported that that Israeli forces set up barriers on the main road that leads to Nabi Saleh and prevented Palestinians, including journalists, from entering the village.
Wafa quoted Bilal al-Tamimi, the father of 16-year-old Ahed who was detained by Israeli forces last month over a video of her slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier, as saying that soldiers are preventing non-residents from entering the village.
However, Wafa reported that some Palestinians were able to enter by taking alternative yet longer routes to participate in a protest in the village.
Dozens of Palestinians suffered from tear severe tear gas inhalation after Israeli forces suppressed the protest, which was held in support of Ahed and in rejection of US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
While Wafa said that the closure was enforced to prevent people from accessing the protest, some have speculated that the closure was taken as a punitive measure against the residents of Nabi Saleh, specifically the Tamimi family.
Since Ahed’s arrest, her cousin Nour was arrested -- she was recently released -- her mother Nariman and her aunt were detained, and recently one of her cousins was detained in an overnight raid.
Over a week ago, Ahed’s distant cousin Musaab al-Tamimi, from Nabi Saleh’s sister village of Deir Nitham, was shot and killed by Israeli forces.
The Tamimi family of Nabi Saleh is well known internationally for their activism against the Israeli occupation, which maintains a heavy, near-constant presence in their village.