Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

Israeli Military Court Trial Closed for Palestinian Protester Ahed Tamimi

Crossing Crossing
Melody Ballard | 15 February, 2018, 07:20

Tamimi has been held in detention since she was arrested at her home by Israeli soldiers last December when she was 16.

Ms Tamimi is from the West Bank town of Nabi Saleh, where more than 600 members of her extended family live.

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.

Bassem Tamimi, Ahed's father, posted a video on his Facebook page after the hearing which shows him calling out to his daughter in the military court, "stay strong".

The UN experts called for her release, saying that future hearings should be held in strict accordance with global legal standards.

International organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have rallied around Tamimi and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan presented her with a "courage" award in 2012 after a similar run-in with the Israeli military. For many Israelis, Tamimi is a provocateur who goads soldiers on video and champions rock-throwing, influenced by relatives who have been involved in protests and attacks against Israelis.

Critics have pointed out that the child has courted attention and been used by her family for anti-Israeli publicity purposes since a young age.

In the closed session, the court read a 12-count indictment against Tamimi, including charges of assault and incitement that could keep her in prison for several years.

On 1 January 2018, Tamimi was charged with a number of offences under Israeli military law, some stemming from the 15 December incident, and others dating back to April 2016. She could not have known that these soldiers would not violently retaliate, as indeed some Israelis wished had happened to avoid "humiliation" on the Israeli side.

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Earlier in the day, Tamimi's father told The Associated Press as he headed into the court that he came "with no good expectations, because this a military court, and it's part of the Israeli military occupation". Instead, she herself was arrested.

The scuffle took place amid clashes and protests against US President Donald Trump's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel 's capital.

NGO Monitor responded, "Ahed Tamimi is a prime example of how children are exploited and weaponized in the Arab-Israeli conflict". She could face several months or years in jail if convicted.

In the court hearing that was held behind closed doors, the judge chose to extend the detention of the 17-year-old girl until March 11 without giving further details.

Amnesty International has called for her immediate release, saying her "continued detention is a desperate attempt to intimidate Palestinian children who dare to stand up to repression by occupying forces".

He questioned whether European states, whose diplomats were excluded from the hearing, would take minimum measures - which they have failed to implement so far - to hold Israel accountable. Her mother's hearing is set for March 6.

Ahed Tamimi is the more aggressive of the two in the video.

"While our struggles may be unique, the parallels can not be ignored", they add, noting that United States police, border patrol and other law enforcement "train with Israeli soldiers, police, and border agents, utilizing similar repressive profiling tactics to target and harass our communities".

As stated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child that Israel has ratified, minors should only be deprived of their liberty as a last resort and for the shortest possible period, indicated the special rapporteur, Michael Lynk.

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