Ahed Tamimi, Palestinian teen who slapped and punched soldiers, goes on trial

Ahed Tamimi, Palestinian teen who slapped and punched soldiers, goes on trial

Ahed Tamimi, 17, has drawn worldwide attention following her arrest after the December 15 confrontation with an Israeli officer and a soldier outside her West Bank home of Nabi Saleh.

Tamimi has been in custody since a video of her slapping an IDF soldier near her family home in Nabi Saleh went viral.

Further controversy was caused by the judge's order to conduct proceedings without journalists present because she is a minor.

Bassem Tamimi, her father, says his daughter's arrest came just when the Palestinians needed a new source of inspiration. The experts called for her release during the proceedings and that future hearings be held in strict accordance with worldwide legal standards.

"The court decided what is best for the court, and not what is good for Ahed", Lasky later told reporters, accusing the judge of trying to keep the world from watching.

Palestinian protest icon Ahed Tamimi is in a courtroom at the Ofer military prison near Jerusalem, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. Ahed has also been often called "iconic" because her story, now and before, is so emblematic of the extraordinary perseverance of the Palestinian people who having endured fifty years of occupation, and seventy years since the mass dispossession of 1948 known to Palestinians as the Nakba.

Ahed Tamimi is one of some 350 Palestinian children now in Israeli military detention. She was arrested, and now faces charges of aggravated assault, obstructing the work of soldiers, and incitement. 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. She was arrested at her home December 19 in the middle of the night and has been in detention ever since.

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

Rights groups such as Amnesty International have pointed out that under the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which Israel is a state party, the "arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child must be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time". She said she is still waiting to receive case material from the prosecutor, that her client did not enter a plea and that the next hearing would be March 11.

Mira Regev's reaction to the Tamimi video clip situates the Israeli reaction to Ahed Tamimi's in ways that seem to reflect the dominant mood in the country that perversely reverses the realities of oppressor and oppressed, victimizers and victims: "When I watched that I felt humiliated". She could face several months or years in jail if convicted.

"Figures from Palestine show that Israel detains and prosecutes between 500 to 700 Palestinian children in military courts annually", Lynk noted.

"The Israeli military supposes by arresting Ahed Tamimi they can silence their activism", said Fadi Quran, a senior campaigner with the activist group Avaaz.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Israel has ratified, states that minors can only be deprived of liberty as a last resort and for the shortest appropriate time, said Michael Lynk, a United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, in a statement.

"The Tamimi family stands up to Israel's brutality because they believe Palestinians, like ALL people, should be free". Earlier that day another relative, 17-year-old Mohammed Tamimi, had been shot in the head by a rubber bullet.

The video stirred complaints in Israel that the soldiers had been humiliated.

Related Articles