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UN Slams Israel for Jailing Ahed Tamimi

UN Slams Israel for Jailing Ahed Tamimi

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. The indictment covers six incidents in recent months in which she was involved in altercations with Israeli soldiers, including the December 15 slapping incident that was captured on video and went viral on social media.

Despite a push from Tamimi's family to have her trial open to the public, a judge rejected the proposal, ruling that it would not be in the interest of the teenager, who is being tried as a minor, Channel News Asia reported.

"The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Israel has ratified, clearly states that children are to be deprived of their liberty only as a last resort, and only for the shortest appropriate period of time", Michael Lynk, the United Nations special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, said Tuesday after Ahed's first hearing in which the court made a decision to ban media from the trial.

The video evoked polarized reactions, with much of the Israeli camp expressing outrage that Tamimi and her cousin were not arrested on the spot, and much of the Palestinian camp cheering her aggressive resistance of what they view as Israeli occupation. The metaphor is given a special vividness because Ahed Tamimi as a child epitomizes the mentality and tactics of an oppressive state: the prospect of Ahed's case being heard by a military court that finds that more than 99% of defendants are guilty of the crimes of which they are accused. "They understand that people outside Ofer military court are interested in Ahed's case". "It decided what is best for the court and know what is best for Ahed".

NGO Monitor responded, "Ahed Tamimi is a prime example of how children are exploited and weaponized in the Arab-Israeli conflict".

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The petition starts by describing the events leading up to the arrest and indictment of Tamimi before comparing the 17-year-old Palestinian girl to Trayvon Martin, the young boy who was shot dead by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Florida in 2012. "The way to keep it out of everybody's eyes is to close doors and not allow people inside the court for the hearing".

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

In the December 15 video, she talks about President Donald Trump's recognition a week earlier of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The 17 year old, who recently celebrated her birthday behind bars, will remain under administrative detention in Israeli prison. "What I think is that the court doesn't think it's good for the court to have all of you inside of it so you can not carry on watching her trial", she told reporters.

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. Images of the female soldier's bloody face circulated on social media after she was injured by shattered windshield glass. In it, the soldiers don't appear to react to Tamimi's confrontation. It also says 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".

Video from the attack shows the mob haranguing and attacking the soldiers as they cried out.


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