Soldier-slapping Ahed Tamimi's trial begins behind closed doors

Trial begins for Palestinian accused of assaulting Israeli soldiers

Palestine to consider legal options if Israel, US ruin new peace talks – Minister

The video shows the cousins approaching two soldiers and ordering them to leave before shoving, kicking and slapping them.

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.

Tamimi is indicted on 12 counts, including assaulting an Israeli officer and soldier - as seen in the video - on December 15, and for five additional events in which she allegedly assaulted Israeli forces, threw rocks at them, threatened them, obstructed them during their duties, and participated in riots and incited others to do so. Tamimi and her mother, Nariman, were arrested a few days later.

Further controversy was caused by the judge's order to conduct proceedings without journalists present because she is a minor.

"You are allowed, of course, to protest the fact that you are under occupation, but you are not allowed to protest in such a way that it will be considered illegal", said Gross, a military court judge until the 1990s.

"They understand that people are interested in Ahed's case, they understand that her rights are being infringed on and her trial is something that shouldn't be happening", lawyer Gaby Lasky said.

Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem in 1967, and Palestinian hopes of establishing a state in those territories seem increasingly dim.

The experts also called on Israeli authorities to respect and ensure basic due process rights, with particular attention to the rights and protections afforded to children, and re-emphasized their call for Tamimi to be released in line with these protections.

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Israel has framed Tamimi's actions as purely criminal offenses. She could not have known that these soldiers would not violently retaliate, as indeed some Israelis wished had happened to avoid "humiliation" on the Israeli side.

The scuffle took place amid clashes and protests against US President Donald Trump's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. She calls for large demonstrations as "the only way to reach results", but says Trump must bear responsibility for any Palestinian reaction, including stabbings and suicide attacks, and that "everyone needs to do something and to unite".

The trial of Ahed Tamimi, a 16-year-old Palestinian girl who was arrested two months ago for slapping an Israeli soldier, is to be held behind closed doors, the Ofer Military Court ruled Tuesday.

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 worldwide legal standards. Several human rights organizations have slammed Israeli over her arrest and pre-trial detention including the United Nations.

"The court made a decision to close doors because they said they don't think it's good for Ahed", said defense lawyer Gaby Lasky.

Lasky, the defense lawyer, objected, saying the family wants the proceedings to be public. Her next court date is on March 11.

Jabareen said he would appeal to the High Court of Justice. "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". 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.

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