Palestinian teenage girl on trial for striking Israeli soldier

Palestinian teenage girl on trial for striking Israeli soldier

Palestinian teenage girl on trial for striking Israeli soldier

Ahed Tamimi, then 16, was recorded by her mother shoving and shouting at two Israeli soldiers in the driveway of her family home in Nabi Salih in the West Bank on December 15, 2017.

Ahed's mother, Nariman, also faces trial over her involvement in the slapping incident, in which she filmed Ahed with a cellphone camera calling on her fellow Palestinians to stab Israelis, throw rocks at them and offer themselves as suicide bombers in order to "liberate Palestine".

The statement from Amnesty International goes on to note that Tamimi's detention is not unique and that the Israeli army now has roughly 350 Palestinian children in custody and is "subjecting them to ill-treatment, including blindfolding, threats, solitary confinement and interrogations without the presence of their lawyers or family members".

A large crowd of journalists had shown up to cover the trial of Tamimi, whose case has gained global attention. However, Ahed reportedly requested, through her attorney Gabi Lasky, for her trial to be open to the public.

"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", Tamimi's lawyer Gaby Lasky told journalists after having unsuccessfully objected to the judge's decision to close the trial. At a previous hearing, the military court at the Ofer army base in the West Bank ordered her held until the end of proceedings.

Like many Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, Ms Tamimi also faces a military trial - which convict almost 100 per cent of alleged Palestinian offenders. It also says her case raises concerns that "Israel's military justice system, which detains hundreds of Palestinian children every year, is incapable of respecting children's rights".

Ahed Tamimi, a 17-year-old girl, arrived in court to face 12 charges including assaulting security forces, incitement and throwing stones.

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"By refusing to release Ahed Tamimi since her arrest, the Israeli authorities have shown nothing but contempt for their obligations under worldwide law to protect children", said Magdalena Mughrabi from Amnesty global. The metaphor is given a special vividness because Ahed Tamimi as a child epitomizes the mentality and tactics of an oppressive state: the prospect of Ahed's case being heard by a military court that finds that more than 99% of defendants are guilty of the crimes of which they are accused. Instead, she herself was arrested. After the prosecution read out the indictment, Tamimi's trial was adjourned until March 11.

"From Trayvon Martin to Mohammed Abu Khdeir and Khalif Browder to Ahed Tamimi - racism, state violence and mass incarceration have robbed our people of their childhoods and their futures", read the open letter organized by US -based Dream Defenders group that was formed following Martin's death to fight for social change.

Senior Israeli government officials called for a harsh punishment.

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has criticised Israeli authorities' actions in the case, while the European Union has expressed concern over Israel's detention of minors, including Ahed Tamimi.

Two Israeli soldiers who accidentally entered the Palestinian city of Jenin on Monday were attacked by a mob of dozens of young Palestinians who stole one of their weapons.

"Yet instead of condemning this reprehensible practice, so-called human-rights groups like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are central players in this cynical propaganda campaign". Earlier that day another relative, 17-year-old Mohammed Tamimi, had been shot in the head by a rubber bullet.

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