Judge Closes Courtroom as Trial Begins for Palestinian Teen Who Slapped Soldiers

Nick Sanchez
February 15, 2018

The teen with the large curly mane of blond hair, who turned 17 in jail last month, has become the latest symbol of the long-running battle between Palestinians and Israelis over global public opinion.

Netflix Marvel series star Rosario Dawson, Grey's Anatomy star Jesse Williams, famed progressive actor Danny Glover, activist and author Angela Davis and philosopher Cornel West were among the 27 figures who signed the petition.

In what rights groups and her lawyer said they suspected was a deliberate effort to try to prevent that, the military judge ejected all journalists and observers from the first trial hearing on Tuesday. "The way to keep it out of everybody's eyes is to close doors and not allow people inside the court for the hearing".

"Stay strong! Stay strong!" shouted her father, Bassem Tamimi.

Closed-door proceedings were held for a couple hours before adjourning.

Outside court, Tamimi's lawyer Gaby Lasky said her family wanted the case to be heard in public, but the judge had ordered the numerous journalists present to be removed from the courtroom for the proceedings because she was a minor. The new hearing date is March 11, and the process is expected to last for several months.

When their terms are being renewed, detainees appear before Israeli military courts - often without full knowledge of the allegations against them.

"Prisoners held on administrative detention in Zionist jails made a decision to boycott Israeli courts in a final and unprecedented manner... to protest this unjust policy", Issa Qaraqe told a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Ahed Tamimi is one of some 350 Palestinian children now in Israeli military detention.

She is charged with 12 offences, including assaulting security forces and incitement to violence and faces a lengthy jail term.

Other critics insist that the incident was staged by the Palestinians, with cameras at the ready, and not as spontaneous as the video wants us to believe.

Bassem Tamimi, Ahed's father said the attack took place during a stone-throwing protest.

Outraged by a perceived insult to their occupation forces, Israeli leaders have vowed revenge against the Tamimi family and are subjecting Ahed, her mother Nariman and cousin Nour to military trials in kangaroo courts with a near-100 percent conviction rate. The 17 year old, who recently celebrated her birthday behind bars, will remain under administrative detention in Israeli prison.

The advocacy group Amnesty International and the family of a Palestinian teenager arrested for hitting an Israeli soldier "work closely together,". Among other things, she is being accused of incitement for comments she made on the same widely watched video that captured her scuffling with the soldiers. "As an unarmed girl, Ahed posed no threat during the altercation with the two Israeli soldiers who were heavily armed and wearing protective clothing".

When Palestinians are noticed, as in this incident, it tends to be with derision, and expressions of a domineering Israeli political will that considers it entirely fitting to impose punishments on Palestinian children of a severity totally disproportionate to the gravity of the supposed crime.

Ahed Tamimi was detained in a night raid in the occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh nearly two months ago, after video circulated showing her and a cousin slapping and shoving two heavily armed Israeli soldiers following an incident in which a soldier had shot in the head and seriously injured their 15-year-old cousin Muhammad Tamimi. The video of her actions has gone viral, showing the world a courageous young woman engaging in nonviolent acts of resistance, and then a day later in the middle of the night being arrested in her home and then charged with a series of crimes; as is standard Israeli practice in the arrest of children, Aden was hauled off to an Israeli prison facility out of reach of her family and then denied bail.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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