Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Jerusalem: Palestine threaten action against Israel, US

Jerusalem: Palestine threaten action against Israel, US

There has been global outcry at a further delay in the military trial of Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi, who was arrested in December for kicking and slapping two Israeli soldiers. Particularly noting Tamimi's arrest in the middle of the night by well-armed soldiers and her subsequent questioning by Israeli security officials without a lawyer or family members present, Lynk and José Guevara called on the Israel authorities "to respect and ensure basic due process rights, with particular attention to the rights and protections afforded to children" and to release Tamimi in accordance with these protections.

The judge in the trial ordered journalists removed from the courtroom, ruling that open proceedings would not be in the interest of 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi, who is being tried as a minor.

In an expose of the Tamimi family last in Haaretz last month, Petra Marquardt-Bigman has observed that Ahed's father, Bassem, "regularly encourages his own children to confront Israeli soldiers, and has frequently advocated the participation of children in protests and demonstrations".

"I see that we are starting the turning point in our history, to deal with our occupier and colonisation in a different way", said Tamimi.

He said the Tamimi case is not isolated, and that Israel detains and prosecutes 500 to 700 Palestinian children in military courts annually.

On Tuesday morning, Tamimi - wearing a 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. At a previous hearing, the military court at the Ofer army base in the West Bank ordered her held until the end of proceedings.

Over the years Ahed gained worldwide attention for her courageous actions against Israeli occupation forces during protests and clashes in and around her village. Tomorrow she goes on trial in a military court.

The petition starts by describing the events leading up to the arrest and indictment of Tamimi before comparing the 17-year-old Palestinian girl to Trayvon Martin, the young boy who was shot dead by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Florida in 2012. Protests often ended in stone-throwing clashes. Her next court date is on March 11. As IBTimes UK had previously reported, Ahed, a familiar face in the protests, was angered after learning that her 15-year-old cousin Mohammed Tamimi had been seriously injured after being hit in the head by a soldier's rubber bullet.

According to Palestinian figures, over 6,400 Palestinians are being held in Israeli prisons, including 300 children. However, President Trump has removed even the patina of impartiality that Washington had sought to maintain, deciding for transparently domestic reasons to go where no previous USA president had dared go in acceding to the likewise-domestic agenda of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in recognizing Jerusalem as the country's capital city.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Israel has ratified, states that minors can only be deprived of liberty as a last resort and for the shortest appropriate time, said Michael Lynk, a United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, in a statement. Family members were allowed to remain. The soldiers can be heard in the videos screaming as the Palestinians assailed them, pulling the hair of the female soldier and grabbing her weapon.

"Ahed Tamimi, to me, signifies nobility in the face of oppression".

"By refusing to release Ahed Tamimi since her arrest, the Israeli authorities have shown nothing but contempt for their obligations under worldwide law to protect children", said Magdalena Mughrabi from Amnesty global. "We then put the soldiers in one of our police cars and brought them to the Israeli authorities in the Civil Administration", he said. In one, taken when she was 12, she is raising a clenched fist at a soldier who towers over her.

Her family says letters of messages of support have flooded in from the region and the world.

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