Ahed Tamimi remains in Israeli prison as "trial" adjourned

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Ahed Tamimi was detained in a night raid in the occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh nearly two months ago, after video circulated showing her and a cousin slapping and shoving two heavily armed Israeli soldiers following an incident in which a soldier had shot in the head and seriously injured their 15-year-old cousin Muhammad Tamimi.

Bassem Tamimi sits in Ahed Tamimi's bedroom holding a poster of his daughter, in their home in the occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, 28 January.

The court said that as Tamimi is a minor a trial behind closed doors is "in her best interests".

Ahed Tamimi, who turned 17 in prison last month, appeared fresh and confident as she was led into a courtroom packed with journalists and foreign diplomats.

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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. 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.

In the closed session, the court read a 12-count indictment against Tamimi, including charges of assault and incitement that could keep her in prison for several years. "It about time they will understand that people like her have to be in jail and not allowed to incite racism and subversion against the state of Israel".

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has criticised Israeli authorities" actions in the case, while the European Union has expressed concern over Israel "s detention of minors, including Ahed Tamimi. Ahed has also been often called "iconic" because her story, now and before, is so emblematic of the extraordinary perseverance of the Palestinian people who having endured fifty years of occupation, and seventy years since the mass dispossession of 1948 known to Palestinians as the Nakba. At a previous hearing, the military court at the Ofer army base in the West Bank ordered her held until the end of proceedings. Several human rights organizations have slammed Israeli over her arrest and pre-trial detention including the United Nations.

United Nations experts have pointed out that Tamimi was arrested in the middle of the night by armed soldiers, and questioned by Israeli security officials without a lawyer or family members present.

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For many Palestinians, Tamimi is a symbol of resistance.

Said Mr Fitzpatrick: "I became aware of Ahed Tamimi about two years ago and I was kind of struck by this girl standing up to Israeli soldiers".

The statement from Amnesty International goes on to note that Tamimi's detention is not unique and that the Israeli army now has roughly 350 Palestinian children in custody and is "subjecting them to ill-treatment, including blindfolding, threats, solitary confinement and interrogations without the presence of their lawyers or family members".

In the December 15 video, she talks about President Donald Trump's recognition a week earlier of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. It also says her case raises concerns that "Israel's military justice system, which detains hundreds of Palestinian children every year, is incapable of respecting children's rights". 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. In one, taken when she was 12, she is raising a clenched fist at a soldier who towers over her.

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The incident was streamed live on Facebook by her mother and went viral.

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