Israel military trial of Palestinian teen opens

Casey Dawson
February 15, 2018

An Israeli military court on Tuesday ordered the extension of a Palestine teenager's detention by one month for slapping an Israeli soldier.

The 17-year-old girl was arrested on December 19 and must now respond to the judicial process, while remaining in jail, for which United Nations experts demand respect to the rules of global law and demand her freedom. Ahed Tamimi, has earned worldwide attention after a video of slapping and kicking the two soldiers went viral after her mother streaming it live on Facebook.

In his decision, the judge, Lt. Col. Menachem Lieberman, said the trial would remain closed for Tamimi's own protection.

Tamimi, who turned 17 in prison last month, and who has been incarcerated for almost two months, appeared to be in good spirits as she entered and whispered across the courtroom to her family.

"They understand that people outside Ofer military court are interested in Ahed's case, they understand that her rights are being infringed and her trial is something that shouldn't be happening", Gaby Lasky, Tamimi's lawyer, said in a statement after her proposal for an open trial was shot down.

But Ahed Tamimi's supporters see a courageous girl who struck two armed soldiers outside her West Bank home in frustration after having just learned that Israeli troops seriously wounded a 15-year-old cousin, shooting him in the head from close range with a rubber bullet during nearby stone-throwing clashes. "It's about time they will understand that people like her have to be in jail and not be allowed to incite". It is also notable that as early as 2013 Ahed gained prominence when given The Handala Courage Award by a Turkish municipality in Istanbul, an occurrence given great attention due to a breakfast in her honor arranged by then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. It is this disparity between the reality of Palestinian resistance and the rhetoric of Israeli oppressive options that gives Ahed Tamimi's story such symbolic poignancy. "So the way to keep it out of everybody's eyes is to close doors and not allow people inside the court for her hearing".

Ahead of Ahed Tamimi's trial, RT America visited her home village of Nabi Saleh to speak to her family. Lasky said she argued that the trial could not move forward because Israel 's occupation of the West Bank and its court system there is illegal. The new hearing date is March 11, and the process is expected to last for several months.

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Her father Bassem, the only member of her family in the courtroom, said to her: "How are you?" "The minor (Tamimi) and her parents wanted the doors open and in this case, the court need not decide what is best for her".

On 1 January, Tamimi was charged with a number of offenses under Israeli military law, some stemming from the December incident, and others dating back to last April.

The scuffle took place amid clashes and protests against US President Donald Trump's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. She was arrested for slapping an IDF soldier.

Twenty-three Palestinians have been killed since Trump's declaration on December 6, majority in clashes with Israeli forces. "As an unarmed girl, Ahed posed no threat during the altercation with the two Israeli soldiers who were heavily armed and wearing protective clothing".

Human rights groups have protested the minor's imprisonment and demanded she be released for the period of her trial.

Her mother has also been charged with incitement on social media and assault, and her cousin, Nour, who participated in the incident, has been charged with assault.

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