UN Experts Alarmed by Arrest of Palestinian Teenager

Saul Bowman
February 15, 2018

After an incident in which she slapped an Israeli soldier, Ahed Tamimi, 17, appeared before an Israeli military court on Tuesday.

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 worldwide law and demand her freedom.

A video, which has since gone viral, shows the unarmed teenage girl slapping, kicking, and shoving two armed Israeli soldiers who were wearing protective gear.

Haaretz commentator Anshel Pfeffer praised the judge's order as a "stroke of genius" that would "prevent the court from becoming a media circus and providing Tamimi, her family, lawyers and activists with a convenient opportunity to put the occupation on trial".

The teen with the large curly mane of blond hair, who turned 17 in jail last month, has become the latest symbol of the long-running battle between Palestinians and Israelis over global public opinion.

"They understand that people outside Ofer military court are interested in Ahed's case, they understand that her rights are being infringed and her trial is something that shouldn't be happening", Gaby Lasky, Tamimi's lawyer, said in a statement after her proposal for an open trial was shot down.

Amnesty International, a London-based international group focused on human rights, has called for the release of the teenager and accused Israel of "discriminatory treatment of Palestinian children". Tamimi was taken into custody in the middle of the night by Israeli forces three days after video footage was released of Tamimi's altercation with soldiers. "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". He said the occupation has robbed her of a normal childhood, that it's better for her to confront it than to fear it, and that he believes her generation will lead Palestinians to freedom.

The trial of Ahem Tamimi is began on Tuesday.


Like many Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, Ms Tamimi also faces a military trial - which convict almost 100 per cent of alleged Palestinian offenders.

Ahead of Ahed Tamimi's trial, RT America visited her home village of Nabi Saleh to speak to her family.

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".

"We believe that this is an indictment exclusively created in order to deter Ahed and other Palestinian youths" from resisting occupation, Lasky said afterward. Tuesday's hearing was adjourned until early March.

On 1 January, Tamimi was charged with a number of offenses under Israeli military law, some stemming from the December incident, and others dating back to last April.

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". In one, taken when she was 12, she is raising a clenched fist at a soldier who towers over her.

An indictment also was filed against Nariman Tamimi, Ahed's mother, who uploaded the video to Facebook.

"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 said.

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