Why the Experience of Ahed Tamimi Matters So Much

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An Israeli military court had started the trial against a 17-year-old Palestinian girl who was arrested for attacking two soldiers.

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.

"I don't think this is in the interest of the minor" military judge Lt Col Menachem Lieberman said before having the courtroom cleared of everyone but her family and lawyers.

Tamimi, who turned 17 in prison last month, was led into a courtroom packed with journalists, several European diplomats and members of her family.

"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.

"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 chose to ban media from the trial.

In 2012, Istanbul's Basaksehir Municipality granted al-Tamimi the prestigious Hanzala Courage Award for defying Israeli soldiers who had just arrested her brother.

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Tamimi arrived at the military court near Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank dressed in a prison jacket with her hands and feet shackled, smiling slightly as journalists photographed her.

Jabareen said he would appeal to the High Court of Justice. The Israeli military judge overseeing the trial of Palestinian teenager Tamimi has ordered all proceedings to take place behind closed doors. Palestinians say she was protesting against Israel's occupation of the West Bank. At a previous hearing, the military court at the Ofer army base in the West Bank ordered her held until the end of proceedings.

"While this decision nominally is said to protect Ahed", she said, "instead it really tries to protect the court".

"Tamimi was arrested in the middle of the night by well-armed soldiers, and then questioned by Israeli security officials without a lawyer or family members present". She said she is still waiting to receive case material from the prosecutor, that her client did not enter a plea and that the next hearing would be March 11. In it, the soldiers don't appear to react to Tamimi's confrontation. Lasky said she argued that the trial could not move forward because Israel's occupation of the West Bank and its court system there is illegal.

The internationally known Minister of Education, Naftali Bennett, was more precise in describing the punishment that fit Ahed's supposed crime: "Ahed Tamimi should serve a life sentence for her crime".

It also touches on the debate over what constitutes legitimate resistance to Israel's rule over several million Palestinians, now in its 51st year. Nariman Tamimi also was charged with incitement to terrorism on Facebook for posting the video of the incident.

"None of the facts of this case would appear to justify her ongoing detention prior to her trial, particularly given the concerns expressed by the Committee on the Rights of the Child about the use of pre-trial detention and detention on remand", Lynk added. One famous photo shows her as a 12-year-old raising a clenched fist at a soldier towering over her.

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