Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Closed-door trial of Palestinian teen opens

Closed-door trial of Palestinian teen opens

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Outside court, Tamimi's lawyer Gaby Lasky said her family wanted the case to be heard in public, but the judge had ordered the numerous journalists present to be removed from the courtroom for the proceedings because she was a minor.

Israeli forces raided several homes in the cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem in southern West Bank and detained seven people, Qadura Fares, head of the Palestinian Prisoners Society, an NGO, told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday. "So the way to keep it out of everybody's eyes is to close the doors".

"We believe that this is an indictment exclusively created in order to deter Ahed and other Palestinian youths" from resisting occupation, Lasky said afterward. Tuesday's hearing was adjourned until early March.

Even though the hearing will now be held in secret, unless her lawyer successfully manages to petition for it to be opened, rights groups say they hope the trial will shed light on Israel's treatment of minors.

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He said the Tamimi case is not isolated, and that Israel detains and prosecutes 500 to 700 Palestinian children in military courts annually. She is also being tried in a military court and faces charges related to incitement because she recorded a video of her daughter slapping the soldier. The following month, Tamimi was charged with a number of offenses under Israel military law for both the December incident and for others dating back to April 2016. Demonstrations take place in her village of Nabi Saleh, in the occupied West Bank, every week, with residents priding themselves on their peaceful resistance, though they regularly descend into stone throwing and clashes. In 2015 a video of her, along with female members of her family, went viral showing her fighting an Israeli occupation soldier who was pinning down her 12-year old male cousin.

A large crowd of journalists had shown up to cover the trial of Tamimi, whose case has gained worldwide attention.

There were 352 Palestinian children held in Israeli prisons as security detainees at the end of past year, according to B'Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization.

In this respect, the experts referred to various opinions on Israel adopted by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention which have emphasized the right of children to be tried by a juvenile justice system rather than before military tribunals, in accordance with relevant worldwide human rights law.

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 as a Joan of Arc-like heroine.

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The Israeli military said the soldiers were in the area to prevent Palestinians from throwing stones at Israeli motorists. 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.

The heavily armed soldiers do not respond to what appears to be an attempt to provoke rather than seriously harm them.

Some commentators claim that what is disproportionate is the global attention devoted to the incident, even suggesting that it was a cynical ploy meant to distract world public opinion due to the failure of Hamas to deliver on its call for a third intifada in response to Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and so move the U.S. Embassy. Two Israelis have been killed since then.

"Nothing that Ahed Tamimi has done can justify the continuing detention of a 16-year-old girl", Amnesty stated in mid-January.

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