Palestinian teenage girl on trial for striking Israeli soldier

The city of Jenin

Palestinian teenage girl on trial for striking Israeli soldier

A Palestinian teenager who was filmed slapping and hitting two Israeli soldiers at her home in the West Bank went on trial at an Israeli military court on Tuesday behind closed doors.

More than two-dozen high-profile art and film figures, as well as athletes and academics, from the US have signed a petition calling for the release of Palestinian iconic teen Ahed Tamimi who faces 12 charges and is being tried in an Israeli military court behind closed doors.

The judge closed the courtroom, citing the defendant's status as a minor, ordering out journalists and diplomats who had been present to observe the proceedings. Her father Bassem, the only member of her family in the courtroom, said to her: "How are you?"

The video was recorded after Tamimi found out Israeli Defense Forces shot her cousin in the face with a rubber bullet, giving the boy severe wounds.

"The court made a decision to close the doors [to the trial] because they claim that it is in Ahed's best interest".

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"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".

Ahed Tamimi, who comes from a family of anti-Israel activists, is standing trial for the incident in the video and five other incidents including rock throwing, incitement and making threats. Despite objections from the Tamimi family and Ahed's lawyer, all media and foreign diplomats were barred from entering the court room during the trial.

Tamimi, who turned 17 years old in prison last month, has been imprisoned since December for what Israel says was a series of offenses that included assault and incitement to violence.

In later events captured on video, Ahed yells at the soldiers to leave, slapping one and punching the other in the head.

The next session in the case was set for March 11. Over 100 members of the PA security forces were called out to escort the soldiers to safety and return their jeep to Israel, according to a PA security official interviewed by the Jerusalem Post, who also said that the effort was made both to protect human life and prevent Israeli reprisals against Jenin.

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Trump has promised to propose a peace plan, but Palestinian officials have said they fear any US offer would fall far short of their demands, including a capital in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.

The scuffle took place amid clashes and protests against US President Donald Trump's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel 's capital.

The case has sparked much controversy, her advocates touting her as a hero of Palestinian resistance, and Human rights group Amnesty International is calling for her immediate release, citing an international convention on the "Rights of the Child" not to be arrested except as "a last resort".

"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.

ESTRIN: She's been confronting soldiers throughout her childhood. She could be sentenced to years in prison. Two Israelis have been killed since then.

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On a recent morning, he met with volunteer observers from Switzerland, Sweden, Colombia, Argentina and Britain, going over the details of Ahed's case and explaining his political views, including his support for a single, bi-national state in which Israelis and Palestinians enjoy equal rights.

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