Israeli judge detains teen until trial for viral 'slap video'

Ben Caspit from his twitter feed

Ben Caspit from his twitter feed

The Israeli Military Court this week ordered the continued remand of Nabi Saleh teenage soldier-slapper and IDF incitement video star Ahed Tamimi, pending her upcoming trial.

Then she hits both in the face, according to a 12-count indictment that also lists previous alleged incidents and carries maximum jail time of 14 years.

Ahed Tamimi was arrested on December 19, 2016 after her mother, Nariman Tamimi, also a prominent activist, posted the footage of the altercation online.

In 2012, Istanbul's Basaksehir Municipality granted her the prestigious Hanzala Courage Award for defying Israeli soldiers who had just arrested her brother.

Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director, said: "Nothing that Ahed Tamimi has done can justify the continuing detention of a 16-year-old girl".

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The Ofer military court, west of Ramallah, extended the teen's detention on the grounds of completing "the legal proceedings in her case", according to a statement by the Israeli army.

"The gravity of the offences of which she is accused do not allow an alternative to custody".

According to rights groups, Palestinians face an nearly 100 percent conviction rate in Israeli military courts, while a Palestinian who files a complaint with the Israeli police only has a 1.9 percent chance that the Israeli perpetrator will be convicted. On 1 January, Ahed and Nariman were charged with aggravated assault of soldiers and preventing them from carrying out their duties.

Her charges include assault after she was filmed punching the soldier at the entrance to her family home in a village in the occupied West Bank.

Representatives from the French and Swedish consulates as well as the European Union attended the hearing for Tamimi.

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Her mother, Nariman, and her 20-year-old cousin Nour were arrested soon after.

The Tamimi family are well-known activists in Nabi Saleh, and have led the village's non-violent resistance for almost a decade. Senior Israeli politicians have called for prosecutors to be tough to make an example of the teen, while a commentator in the Israeli left-wing newspaper Haaretz said Israel risked turning her into the "Palestinian Joan of Arc".

"No one will be surprised when they sentence Ahed to prison".

There are now some 350 Palestinian children in Israeli prisons and detention centres, according to local human rights organisations.

The judge's decision on Wednesday raises the possibility she could spend months in custody before the conclusion of her case. DCIP has reported that at least 8,000 Palestinian children have been arrested and prosecuted in Israel's military courts since 2000.

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Remand in custody - even of minors - is part of the routine of oppression that Israel employs against Palestinians, with the full backing of the military courts, a system in which both judges and prosecutors are always military personnel, the defendants always Palestinian, and the conviction rate nearly 100%. This so-called justice system is one of the most offensive mechanisms employed under Israel's occupation regime. This is Israel's goal: "destroy Palestinians' childhood". This is true of the Tamimi family - and of thousands of others.

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