Trial of Palestinian girl who slapped Israeli soldiers begins


"Too many of our children quickly learn that they may be imprisoned or killed simply for who they are", read the petition that was published and shared with media Monday.

OFER MILITARY BASE, West Bank-Palestinian protester Ahed Tamimi went on trial behind closed doors in an Israeli military court Tuesday for slapping and punching two Israeli soldiers-the opening of a high-profile case against the teen who is seen by some as a Joan of Arc-like heroine and by others as a troublemaker or even a terrorist.

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

Only family members were allowed to remain in the courtroom, with diplomats present to observe also asked to leave.

Haaretz commentator Anshel Pfeffer praised the judge's order as a "stroke of genius" that would "prevent the court from becoming a media circus and providing Tamimi, her family, lawyers and activists with a convenient opportunity to put the occupation on trial".

On Tuesday morning Tamimi, wearing 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.

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Speaking to RT's "Going Underground" in January, Ahed's father, Bassem Tamimi, said: "I am a father".

"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. Tuesday's hearing was adjourned until early March.

Lasky, the defense lawyer, objected, saying the family wants the proceedings to be public.

"The Tamimi family stands up to Israel's brutality because they believe Palestinians, like ALL people, should be free".

Tamimi comes from a family well-known in the West Bank for inciting and provoking IDF soldiers while recording their reactions.

Ahed has been charged with 12 counts, including aggravated assault, hindering a soldier in the line of duty, incitement, threatening a soldier's life and rock throwing. They include stone-throwing, incitement and making threats. The 17 year old, who recently celebrated her birthday behind bars, will remain under administrative detention in Israeli prison.

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"The military courts themselves are one of the most injurious mechanisms of the occupation and are not created to seek justice or truth, but to maintain the occupation", Amit Gilutz, spokesperson for Israeli rights group B'Tselem, told Al-Jazeera Tuesday after Ahed's secret trial.

Ahed Tamimi's case has attracted global attention and condemnation, with both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) calling for her release after her December arrest.

It is not uncommon for Israelis - including soldiers - to accidentally enter Palestinian-controlled areas.

"While our struggles may be unique, the parallels can not be ignored", they add, noting that U.S. 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".

Ahed Tamimi is the more aggressive of the two in the video. "That's exactly what Tamimi is accused of doing, by using force against soldiers". They then move backwards after Nariman Tamimi becomes involved.

Mohammed Tamimi, a cousin of Ahed, was seriously wounded by a rubber bullet fired at his head during those protests.

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Trump has promised to propose a peace plan, but Palestinian officials have said they fear any USA offer would fall far short of their demands, including a capital in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.