[Pnews] Ahed Tamimi's trial gets under way behind closed doors

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Feb 13 10:56:27 EST 2018


  Ahed Tamimi's trial gets under way behind closed doors

by Jaclynn Ashly - February 13, 2018

*Bethlehem, occupied West Bank *- The trials of a prominent Palestinian 
teen activist and her mother have begun behind closed doors after 
an Israeli military judge banned media from entering the court.

Ahed Tamimi, 17, was arrested in December after a video of her slapping 
and hitting two Israeli officials outside of her house in the village of 
Nabi Saleh went viral. Her mother, Nariman, was arrested soon after.

Court proceedings began on Tuesday at Israel's Ofer detention centre, 
with only family members allowed into the hearing after the judge barred 
reporters despite a request for a public trial by Gaby Lasky, the lawyer 
of the Tamimis.

"The court decided to close the doors because they think that it's not 
good for Ahed. But what I think is that the court doesn't think it's 
good for the court," Lasky told reporters.

The hearing was the first court session since the judge ruled last month 
to keep the mother and daughter in Israeli custody for the duration of 
their trials.

Ahed's hearing lasted for two hours and her next court session is 
scheduled on March 11. She is tried separately from her mother, whose 
next hearing is set on March 6.

The teen, who turned 17 while in detention, is facing 12 
charges, including alleged assault and "incitement", and could spend up 
to 10 years in prison if found guilty.

The viral video was filmed shortly after Ahed was informed that her 
15-year-old cousin had been severely wounded by Israeli forces who had 
shot him in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet.

    'Completely routine'

Amit Gilutz, spokesperson for Israeli rights group B'Tselem, said all of 
the practices being used against Ahed and Nariman "are completely 
routine" for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank 

"The military courts themselves are one of the most injurious mechanisms 
of the occupation and are not designed to seek justice or truth, but to 
maintain the occupation," Gilutz told Al Jazeera.

Both Ahed and her mother have been held in Israel's HaSharon prison for 
almost two months.

Ahed has since become an icon for the 330 Palestinian children currently 
held in Israel's prisons, and rights groups have demanded her immediate 

"As an unarmed girl, Ahed posed no threat during the altercation with 
the two Israeli soldiers who were heavily armed and wearing protective 
clothing," Magdalena Mughrabi, deputy director for Amnesty 
International's Middle East and Africa programme, said in a statement on 

Mughrabi said Ahed had not done anything that could justify her 
continued detention and "the long, aggressive interrogation sessions she 
has been forced to endure".

"Yet again, the Israeli authorities have responded to acts of defiance 
by a Palestinian child with measures that are entirely disproportionate 
to the incident in question," she added.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) also condemned the teen's detention.

Tamimi's trial "is both a violation of international law and 
unnecessary", Bill Van Esveld, an HRW senior researcher, said in a 
statement on Monday.

"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."

Since Ahed's arrest, Israeli forces have continued a crackdown on Nabi 
Saleh residents, according to Manal Tamimi, a relative of the teen and 
her mother.

Manal's two sons have been held in Israeli custody since being arrested 
by Israeli forces last month.

Since Ahed's arrest, at least nine other members of the Tamimi family 
have been arrested, five of whom remain in Israeli custody. Most were 
detained during overnight Israeli army raids.

Amid this environment, Manal said that Nabi Saleh residents initiated 
training and drill sessions for the community's children and young 
adults to prepare them for potential arrests and interrogations by 
Israeli forces.

During the training, children were blindfolded and their hands bound 
behind their backs - a typical scene during overnight Israeli raids in 
the occupied West Bank.

Manal told Al Jazeera the drills were necessary to "prepare our children 
for Israeli detention tactics and to make sure they understand their 

The village has also faced rising threats from settlers residing in 
Israel's illegal Halamish settlement 
located adjacent to the home of the Tamimi family.

Earlier this month, locals said Israeli settlers had snuck into Nabi 
Saleh in the middle of the night and sprayed graffiti around the 
village, including slogans such as "Death to Ahed Tamimi" and "There's 
no place in this world for Ahed Tamimi".

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