Amnesty International slams Israel's prolonged detention of Ahed Tamimi

Ahed has been charged by an Israeli military court with five counts of assault against security forces and throwing stones at the military during a protest Nabi Saleh in opposition to US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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%.

Part of Ahed's charges reference her insulting Israeli soldiers - she has allegedly called them "child murderers", "Nazis" and "thieves" during altercations.

The incident took place on the same day that Ahed's 15-year-old cousin, Mohammad, was hit in the head at close range by a rubber bullet fired by an Israeli soldier.

Four days after the incident, Ahed and her mother, Nariman, were arrested by Israeli soldiers.

Nour Tamimi (2L) and her aunt Nariman Tamimi (2R) attend a hearing at the Ofer military court in the West Bank on January 1, 2018.

She has been hailed as a hero by Palestinians who see her as bravely standing up to Israel's occupation of the West Bank.

"The court said that because she is so unsafe there is no possibility of bail", her lawyer Gaby Lasky told reporters.

The UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights has also criticized Israel for how it is dealing with Tamimi.

"Israel is clearly, brazenly flouting its obligations under global law to protect children from overly harsh criminal punishments", said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty worldwide.

"However, today's decision shows that the court acted independently and applied the law, basing its decisions on the evidence presented and the other relevant factors", Hirsch said.

"There is nothing that can justify Ahed Tamimi's continued detention".

The incident that led to the arrests occurred in the yard of the Tamimi home in Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah.

While Israeli settlers in the West Bank are tried in Israeli courts hundreds of Palestinian children are tried under military orders every year, a process that exposes them to night raids, harsh interrogations and ill treatment according to Amnesty.

Seventeen Palestinians have been killed since Mr Trump's declaration on December 6, a lot of them in clashes with Israeli forces.

The organization noted that the NGOs advocating for Tamimi's release regularly attack the military courts, claiming inherent bias.

Israel has said the soldiers were in Nabi Saleh to stop Palestinians throwing stones at Israeli motorists, and have accused Ahed of deliberately provoking soldiers in an attempt to attract global attention. The judges and the prosecution in these cases are part of the Israeli military.

  • Rogelio Becker