Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Hattie Nash

Ahed Tamimi Returns Before Israeli Show Trial

Ahed Tamimi Returns Before Israeli Show Trial

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The teenager, just 16 at the time of the incident, was arrested in December after a video of her assaulting two soldiers outside of her home surfaced online and went viral.

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

More than two-dozen high-profile art and film figures, as well as athletes and academics, from the USA have signed a petition calling for the release of Palestinian iconic teen Ahed Tamimi who faces 12 charges and is being tried in an Israeli military court behind closed doors.

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. "So the way to keep it out of everybody's eyes is to close doors and not allow people inside the court for her hearing", she said. A new trial date has been scheduled for March 11.

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Her father Bassem, the only member of her family in the courtroom, said to her: "How are you?"

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

Commenting on the judge's claim that the court session was closed for Ahed's own good, the teenager's lawyer Gaby Lasky told media, "I think that the [judge] does not think it is good for the court". Lasky added that she would make a new request to have the trial opened. Palestinians say she was protesting against Israel's occupation of the West Bank. For Palestinians, the young teen is a symbol of resistance to Israeli occupation, but many Israelis regard her as a violent troublemaker seeking publicity.

In later events captured on video, Ahed yells at the soldiers to leave, slapping one and punching the other in the head.

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

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She has been in detention since her arrest December 19, four days after she was filmed confronting the soldiers outside her West Bank home. Several human rights organizations have slammed Israeli over her arrest and pre-trial detention including the United Nations.

United Nations human rights experts said Tamimi's continued detention violates worldwide legal standards.

UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territory Michael Lynk and Chair-Rapporteur of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention José Antonio Guevara Bermúdez [official profiles] demanded Tamimi's immediate release during the proceedings and called for future hearings to be held in strict accordance with global legal standards.

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. One photo shows the then 12-year-old raising a clenched fist toward a soldier towering over her.

"From Trayvon Martin to Mohammed Abu Khdeir and Khalif Browder to Ahed Tamimi - racism, state violence and mass incarceration have robbed our people of their childhoods and their futures", read the open letter organized by USA -based Dream Defenders group that was formed following Martin's death to fight for social change.

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Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and a White House they see as favoring Israel more than ever, has fueled frustration among Palestinians.

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