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UN rights experts alarmed by detention of Palestinian girl

Ahed Tamimi Returns Before Israeli Show Trial

After an incident in which she slapped an Israeli soldier, Ahed Tamimi, 17, appeared before an Israeli military court on Tuesday.

United Nations human rights experts* have expressed alarm over the case of Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi who, after an incident in which she slapped an Israeli soldier, appeared before an Israeli military court today. 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.

The judge reportedly chose to close the doors to the courtroom in the Ofer courthouse to everyone except Tamimi's family. The 17 year old, who recently celebrated her birthday behind bars, will remain under administrative detention in Israeli prison.

More than two dozen prominent US Black artists and public figures are speaking out in support of Ahed Tamimi, as the teenager's trial began in an Israeli military court.

"They understand that people outside Ofer military court are interested in Ahed's case, they understand that her rights are being infringed and her trial is something that shouldn't be happening", Tamimi's lawyer Gaby Lasky told journalists after having unsuccessfully objected to the judge's decision to close the trial.

She said her strategy would be to argue that Israel's continued occupation over the West Bank, captured in the 1967 Mideast war, is illegal and that the indictment is aimed at deterring Ahed and other Palestinian youths "from resisting occupation nonviolently". For Palestinians, the young teen is a symbol of resistance to Israeli occupation, but many Israelis regard her as a violent troublemaker seeking publicity.

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She is charged with 12 offences, including assaulting security forces and incitement to violence and faces a lengthy jail term. The military said in a statement that it is charging Nariman Tamimi with using Facebook to "incite others to commit terrorist attacks".

On December 19, her home was raided by Israeli soldiers at night.

He said the Tamimi case is not isolated, and that Israel detains and prosecutes 500 to 700 Palestinian children in military courts annually.

Ahed's lawyer accuses the military of breaking the United Nations convention on the rights of a child during her nighttime arrest and interrogation, during which she says Ahed was threatened.

At the time, protests had erupted in several parts of the West Bank over President Donald Trump's recognition 10 days earlier of contested Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Human rights groups have protested the minor's imprisonment and demanded she be released for the period of her trial.

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"From Trayvon Martin to Mohammed Abu Khdeir and Khalif Browder to Ahed Tamimi - racism, state violence and mass incarceration have robbed our people of their childhoods and their futures", read the open letter organized by US -based Dream Defenders group that was formed following Martin's death to fight for social change.

The next session in the case was set for March 11.

"The Israeli military supposes by arresting Ahed Tamimi they can silence their activism", said Fadi Quran, a senior campaigner with the activist group Avaaz. She could face several months or years in jail if convicted. She accused the court of closing the hearings to prevent the world from watching.

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has criticised Israeli authorities" actions in the case, while the European Union has expressed concern over Israel "s detention of minors, including Ahed Tamimi.

The video stirred complaints in Israel that the soldiers had been humiliated.

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