Palestinian teen to be held until trial for slapping troops

OFER MILITARY PRISON, Palestine: An Israeli military judge on Wednesday ordered a Palestinian teenager — arrested after a viral video showed her hitting two Israeli soldiers — held in custody through her trial.

“I found no alternative other than to order her detention in custody until the end of proceedings,” the judge ruled, referring to 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi.

“The gravity of the offenses of which she is accused do not allow an alternative to custody.”

Her mother, Nariman Tamimi, was ordered held until at least her next hearing on Feb. 6.

Ahed Tamimi has been hailed as a hero by Palestinians who see her as bravely standing up to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

Israelis accuse her family of using her as a pawn in staged provocations.

She has been charged with 12 counts including assault and could face a lengthy jail term if convicted.

The charges relate to events in the video and five other incidents. They include stone-throwing, incitement and making threats.

The judge’s decision on Wednesday raises the possibility she could spend months in custody before the conclusion of her case.
Representatives from the French and Swedish consulates as well as the EU attended the hearing for Tamimi, who sat impassively in a khaki prison jacket.

“The court said that because she is so dangerous there is no possibility of bail,” her lawyer Gaby Lasky told reporters.
Human rights groups have criticized the minor’s continued detention since her arrest on Dec. 19, while the EU has expressed concern.

Her mother was arrested over the incident the same day, while her cousin Nour Tamimi, 20, was arrested on Dec. 20. Nour was released on bail on Jan. 5.

Ahed Tamimi’s family says the Dec. 15 incident that led to the arrests occurred in the yard of their home in Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah in the West Bank.

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

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

Ahed Tamimi is the most aggressive of the two in the video.
The heavily armed soldiers do not respond to what appears to be an attempt to provoke rather than seriously harm them.

They then move backward after Nariman Tamimi becomes involved.

The scuffle took place amid clashes and protests against US President Donald Trump’s controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Relatives say that a member of the Tamimi family was wounded in the head by a rubber bullet fired during those protests.

Seventeen Palestinians have been killed since Trump’s declaration on Dec. 6, most of them in clashes with Israeli forces.

Ahed Tamimi has been involved in a series of previous incidents, with older pictures of her confronting soldiers widely published.
She has become something of an icon for Palestinians who have flooded social media with praise and support.

Rights group Amnesty International has called on Israel to release her immediately.

“Ahed Tamimi’s ensuing arrest and military trial exposes the Israeli authorities’ discriminatory treatment of Palestinian children who dare to stand up to ongoing, often brutal, repression by occupying forces,” the London-based watchdog said.

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