Why the Experience of Ahed Tamimi Matters So Much

The city of Jenin

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Despite Ahed Tamimi's willingness for a transparent and public trial, the Judea Military Court on Tuesday ordered her case to be tried behind closed doors.

An Israel Military judge, who prohibited the media from entering the courtroom and began the trial behind closed doors [Al Jazeera report], has ruled that Tamimi should remain in detention until the end of her trial and adjourned Tuesday's hearing until early March.

Ahed Tamimi's family have repeatedly argued that the December 15 incident that led to the arrests occurred in the yard of their own home in Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah in the West Bank.

"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", said Michael Lynk, the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967.

In the closed session, the court read a 12-count indictment against Tamimi, including charges of assault and incitement that could keep her in prison for several years.

When their terms are being renewed, detainees appear before Israeli military courts - often without full knowledge of the allegations against them.

"We believe that this is an indictment exclusively created in order to deter Ahed and other Palestinian youths" from resisting occupation, Lasky said afterward.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Abu al-Hummus, a member of the local follow-up committee in East Jerusalem's al-Issawiya neighborhood, said 11 more people were detained in Israeli raids in the neighborhood.

The petition starts by describing the events leading up to the arrest and indictment of Tamimi before comparing the 17-year-old Palestinian girl to Trayvon Martin, the young boy who was shot dead by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Florida in 2012. He further reflected on his sister, who died after one of his remand hearings in the 1990s, "My sister died in one of these courts, we need the people and the media inside with us".

"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.

"The court decided what is best for the court, and not what is good for Ahed", said the girl's Israeli lawyer, Gaby Lasky.

Israel's hard-charging prosecution of Tamimi, recognizable by her unruly mane of curly hair, has drawn global attention and criticism.

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

On 1 January 2018, Tamimi was charged with a number of offences under Israeli military law, some stemming from the 15 December incident, and others dating back to April 2016.

The heavily armed soldiers do not respond to what appears to be an attempt to provoke rather than seriously harm them.

Though the Tuesday trial only lasted a few hours, it was ultimately brought to a close after prosecutors asked for more time to prepare their case. "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. In 2015 a video of her, along with female members of her family, went viral showing her fighting an Israeli occupation soldier who was pinning down her 12-year old male cousin.

To belittle her acts as instruments of "infowar" is also to ignore the uncertainty she faced when so strongly confronting Israeli soldiers and challenging their authority.

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