Israeli army court closes doors on Palestinian teenager's slap trial


In the court hearing that was held behind closed doors, the judge made a decision to extend the detention of the 17-year-old girl until March 11 without giving further details.

After a video showing Ahed striking and kicking Israeli soldiers went viral, a group of Israeli Military forces barged into Tamimi's household in the village of Nabi Saleh at 4 am on December 19, 2017, and detained Ahed for "assault" and "incitement" against Israeli security forces.

Ms Tamimi's father, Bassem, said he arrived at the trial "with no good expectations, because this a military court, and it's part of the Israeli military occupation".

Tamimi, who turned 17 in prison last month, and who has been incarcerated for almost two months, appeared to be in good spirits as she entered and whispered across the courtroom to her family.

The case, with the youngster potentially facing years in prison for confronting the troops outside her home, has seen Israel draw widespread criticism.

Amnesty International has accused Israel of discriminatory treatment of Palestinian children and called for her release.

Her mother has also been charged with incitement on social media and assault, and her cousin, Nour, who participated in the incident, has been charged with assault.

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Approximately 300 Palestinian minors are now held in Israeli prisons, two of them in administrative detention, where no charges are given for their being detained, according to Israeli rights group B'Tselem. She could be sentenced to years in prison.

Gaby Lasky, Aheds lawyer, said Palestinians will be getting another message.

"Stay strong, stay strong", shouted her father, Bassem, from the back row.

Days later, she was arrested during a night raid. "So when the parents and the girl herself want and think it's important to have the proceedings open to the public, the decision to close the doors is not meant to protect Ahed but to protect the court from public scrutiny". During clashes with Israeli forces, Tamimi's 14-year-old cousin, Mohammed, was shot in the head at close range by an Israeli soldier. "But although painful, its definitely put a spotlight on Palestinian children in detention".

The Palestinians, who claim Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as their capital, saw Trump's announcement as unfairly taking sides with Israel. "Showing soldiers have the backing of the entire system is at least as important as winning in the court of global opinion".

"The Tamimi family stands up to Israel's brutality because they believe Palestinians, like ALL people, should be free".

Michael Sfard, an Israeli human rights lawyer, said that Israeli military law "is set up to label every act of resistance, violent or nonviolent, as criminal" and that the military court system is just another branch of an occupying army.