Monday, October 26, 2020

Teenage ‘icon’ Ahed Tamimi to be charged in a military court

By The Palestine Monitor - December 29, 2017
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Nabi Saleh] [Ofer prison] [child arrests]

At a hearing on Thursday at Ofer military court near Ramallah, judges decided to extend the detention of teenager Ahed Tamimi for an additional five days. 

After concluding their investigation, prosecutors announced their intention to indict the 16-year-old on charges including aggravated assault and insulting a soldier. The next hearing is scheduled for Monday, January 1.

“She was kept in detention because of the [recent] incident with the soldier, but the prosecutor was very busy trying to find other things in the past,” Ahed's lawyer Gaby Lasky told Palestine Monitor. “What we will see is that there's going to be many charges regarding five different [incidents] where they say she bit a soldier or threw stones in different occasions,” the lawyer explained referring to statements made by the prosecution during the hearing. She added that prosecutors are likely to request to keep her in detention until the end of the trial.

On December 15, a video went viral where Ahed is seen slapping an Israeli soldier and asking him to leave the backyard of her family home in Nabi Saleh, a small village near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. Clashes between Israeli forces and youth from the village had been taking place nearby during protests against US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The troops had no warrant to be on the property.

The teenager was arrested during a night raid on her home three days later.

Palestinians have hailed Ahed as a “heroine” and an international campaign for her release promptly began on social media. Palestinian women staged a sit-in in front of Ofer military court on Thursday to ask for the release of Ahed as well as her mother Nariman, and cousin Nour, who were also arrested following the incident.

A parallel smear campaign against the Tamimi family kicked off in the Israeli media, initially focused on the fact that the soldier seen in the video had not reacted. Prominent Israeli journalist Ben Caspit sparked outrage when he wrote in an article “in the case of the girls, we should exact a price at some other opportunity, in the dark, without witnesses and cameras.”

Most accounts of the affair failed to mention that less than an hour before the incident, Ahed's 14-year-old cousin Mohammed Tamimi had been shot at close range in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet, which lodged into his skull. The child was later put under an induced coma and underwent surgery. He is now recovering from his injuries.

Ahed, from a well-known family of activists in Nabi Saleh, had already made headlines in 2010, with a viral photograph of her standing in front of a soldier with her fist raised.

In 2015, she once again made headlines when she was pictured biting a soldier's hand as she, her mother, aunt and a female cousin tried to free Ahed's 12-year-old cousin from the grip of an Israeli soldier. The Tamimis were the driving force behind the non-violent protests that took place for years in Nabi Saleh, against the confiscation of the village's lands and the takeover of a nearby spring by the settlement of Halamish.

“My daughter is just 16 years old. In another world, in your world, her life would look completely different,” her father Bassem Tamimi wrote today in a column in Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

“In our world, Ahed is a representative of a new generation of our people, of young freedom fighters. This generation has to wage its struggle on two fronts. On the one hand, they have the duty, of course, to keep on challenging and fighting the Israeli colonialism into which they were born, until the day it collapses. On the other hand, they have to boldly face the political stagnation and degeneration that has spread among us.”

According to prisoners' rights group Addameer, there are 6154 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails today. 311 of them are children and 59 are women.



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