Palestinian teenage girl on trial for striking Israeli soldier

The city of Jenin

Palestinian teenage girl on trial for striking Israeli soldier

An Israeli military court had started the trial against a 17-year-old Palestinian girl who was arrested for attacking two soldiers.

The court said that as Tamimi is a minor a trial behind closed doors is "in her best interests".

Ahed, who turned 17 behind bars last month, was denied bail by the military court judge and stands little chance of winning her case as such courts have a 99 percent conviction rate.

Her case has drawn wide public attention to Israeli military court procedures, which are often described by rights groups as discriminatory.

"By refusing to release Ahed Tamimi since her arrest on 19 December, the Israeli authorities have shown nothing but contempt for their obligations under worldwide law to protect children", Magdalena Mughrabi, deputy director of AI's Middle East and Africa chapters, said.

On Tuesday morning, Tamimi - wearing a prison uniform and with her hands and feet in restraints - was led into the courtroom at the Ofer military prison near Ramallah for preliminary trial hearings.

Bassem said Ahed's next appearance was set for 11 March, while Ahed's mother Nariman and cousin Nour will be brought before the military tribunal on 6 March.

"The Tamimi family - which may not be a real family - dresses up kids in American clothes and pays them to provoke IDF troops on camera".

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. "The way to keep it out of everybody's eyes is to close doors and not allow people inside the court for the hearing".

Ahed and her family reside in West Bank town of Nabi Saleh, which has over the years seen continuous conflict between anti-occupation protestors and a nearby Israeli settlement.

The altercation with soldiers happened shortly after Tamimi's cousin was shot in the head with a rubber bullet during a demonstration as he climbed a wall of a complex Israeli soldiers had commandeered, according to Bassem Tamimi, Ahed's father, who is a well-known leader of protests in his village.

In the December 15 video, she talks about President Donald Trump's recognition a week earlier of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The Israeli reaction, as might be expected, was as negative and denigrating as the Palestinian response was affirmative; maybe more so. 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.

United Nations experts have pointed out that Tamimi was arrested in the middle of the night by armed soldiers, and questioned by Israeli security officials without a lawyer or family members present.

Israel's hard-charging prosecution of Tamimi, recognizable by her unruly mane of curly hair, has drawn worldwide attention and criticism. The following month, Tamimi was charged with a number of offenses under Israel military law for both the December incident and for others dating back to April 2016.

"None of the facts of this case would appear to justify her ongoing detention prior to her trial, particularly given the concerns expressed by the Committee on the Rights of the Child about the use of pre-trial detention and detention on remand", Lynk said. In one, taken when she was 12, she is raising a clenched fist at a soldier who towers over her.

Lasky also pointed out that multiple court hearings relating to Tamimi had already been held that included a massive media and diplomatic presence, as well as that a video of Tamimi, which is the main subject of the trial, already went viral on social media.

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