IDF Court closes Ahed Tamimi trial off from public against her request

Army Abducts Sixteen Palestinians In The West Bank

"By refusing to release Ahed Tamimi since her arrest on 19 December, the Israeli authorities have shown nothing but contempt for their obligations under worldwide law to protect children", Magdalena Mughrabi, deputy director of AI's Middle East and Africa chapters, said in a statement.

Palestinian protester Ahed Tamimi went on trial behind closed doors in an Israeli military court Tuesday for slapping and punching two Israeli soldiers - the opening of a high-profile case against the teen who is seen as a Joan of Arc-like heroine.

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.

A large crowd of local and global journalists had shown up to cover the trial of Tamimi, who has become something of an icon for Palestinians and supporters of their cause worldwide.

In his decision, the judge, Lt. Col. Menachem Lieberman, said the trial would remain closed for Tamimi's own protection. "So the way to keep it out of everybody's eyes is to close doors and not allow people inside the court for her hearing".

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.

"Prisoners held on administrative detention in Zionist jails chose to boycott Israeli courts in a final and unprecedented manner... to protest this unjust policy", Issa Qaraqe told a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

She is charged with 12 offences, including assaulting security forces and incitement to violence and faces a lengthy jail term.

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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. Since 2009, residents there have staged regular anti-occupation protests that often ended with stone-throwing clashes.

Two Israeli soldiers who accidentally entered the Palestinian city of Jenin on Monday were attacked by a mob of dozens of young Palestinians who stole one of their weapons.

Prosecutors requested more time to prepare a response and a new date was set for March 11, according to Lasky. 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.

Earlier in the day, Tamimi's father told The Associated Press as he headed into the court that he came "with no good expectations, because this a military court, and it's part of the Israeli military occupation".

"The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Israel has ratified, clearly states that children are to be deprived of their liberty only as a last resort, and only for the shortest appropriate period of time", Michael Lynk, the United Nations special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, said Tuesday after Ahed's first hearing in which the court chose to ban media from the trial. However, video footage of the altercation shows that the then 16-year-old was simply yelling at, hitting and later slapping two Israeli soldiers away from the area after one of them had shoved her.

Ahed Tamimi is the more aggressive of the two in the video.

The heavily armed soldiers do not respond to what appears to be an attempt to provoke rather than seriously harm them. "Dream Defenders stands with them and all Palestinians in their righteous struggle", the petition contiuned adding that a delegation from the group had gone to Palestine late previous year and met with different communities including the Tamimi family.

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