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Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

IDF Court closes Ahed Tamimi trial off from public against her request

IDF Court closes Ahed Tamimi trial off from public against her request

The 17-year-old girl was arrested on December 19 and must now respond to the judicial process, while remaining in jail, for which United Nations experts demand respect to the rules of global law and demand her freedom. 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.

Tamimi, who turned 17 in prison last month, and who has been incarcerated for almost two months, appeared to be in good spirits as she entered and whispered across the courtroom to her family.

Her case has drawn wide public attention to Israeli military court procedures, which are often described by rights groups as discriminatory.

According to Amnesty International (AI), Israel, as party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, failed to stay in line with the human rights treaty by opting to immediately detain Tamimi instead of seeking a better solution. 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.

Ms Tamimi's father, Bassem, said he arrived at the trial "with no good expectations, because this a military court, and it's part of the Israeli military occupation".

"The court made a decision to close the doors [to the trial] because they claim that it is in Ahed's best interest".

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has criticised Israeli authorities' actions in the case, while the European Union has expressed concern over Israel's detention of minors, including Ahed Tamimi. For many Israelis, Tamimi is a provocateur who goads soldiers on video and champions rock-throwing, influenced by relatives who have been involved in protests and attacks against Israelis. "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".

Ahed and her family reside in West Bank town of Nabi Saleh, which has over the years seen continuous conflict between anti-occupation protestors and a nearby Israeli settlement.

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".

The case was adjourned until March, and could go on for months.

Her father Bassem Tamimi waved to her from the audience, yelling out "stay strong, you will win". Tamimi has been in custody since her arrest in mid-December.

Eleven more Palestinians were arrested in Eastern Jerusalem and the cities of Nablus, Jenin and Qalqiliya, he said. "As an unarmed girl, Ahed posed no threat during the altercation with the two Israeli soldiers who were heavily armed and wearing protective clothing". The military said in a statement that it is charging Nariman Tamimi with using Facebook to "incite others to commit terrorist attacks".

On Tuesday Lieutenant Colonel Menachem Lieberman ordered the trial take place as a closed hearing, ejecting journalists, human rights researchers and observing western diplomats.

She was arrested during a night raid four days later, after a video of her threatening and beating two Israel Defense Forces soldiers went viral.

"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".

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