Palestinian teenage girl on trial for striking Israeli soldier

Trial begins for Palestinian accused of assaulting Israeli soldiers

The incident was streamed live on Facebook by her mother and went viral. Tamimi remains in custody.

On Tuesday morning, Tamimi - wearing a prison uniform and with her hands and feet in restraints - was led into the courtroom at the Ofer military prison near Ramallah for preliminary trial hearings. She appeared calm and confident as she took a seat in the dock, surrounded by camera crews and photographers.

Amid the presence of many journalists and diplomats, the military judge ordered the session to be held behind closed doors, claiming this was for Ahed's own good. It is also notable that as early as 2013 Ahed gained prominence when given The Handala Courage Award by a Turkish municipality in Istanbul, an occurrence given great attention due to a breakfast in her honor arranged by then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Further controversy was caused by the judge's order to conduct proceedings without journalists present because she is a minor.

"They understand that people are interested in Ahed's case, they understand that her rights are being infringed on and her trial is something that shouldn't be happening", lawyer Gaby Lasky said. The closed-door trial is based on 12 charges including those of aggravated assault and incitement.

Lasky argued that the court is an organ of what she described as an "illegal occupation" and that the charges must therefore be thrown out. "I think the decision of the court is because the court decided what is good for the court, and not what is good for Ahed", Lasky said. She said she is still waiting for case material from the prosecutor, that her client did not enter a plea and that the next hearing would be March 11.

Ahead of Ahed Tamimi's trial, RT America visited her home village of Nabi Saleh to speak to her family.

Although no one was seriously hurt, the Israeli military, her lawyer says, is keen to make an example of her to deter other young Palestinians from fighting back against the Israeli occupation. The incident left him in a coma, his family said, and he had part of his skull removed. In one, taken when she was 12, she is raising a clenched fist at a soldier who towers over her.

Video from the attack shows the mob haranguing and attacking the soldiers as they cried out. Instead, she herself was arrested. "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".

"The Israeli military supposes by arresting Ahed Tamimi they can silence their activism", said Fadi Quran, a senior campaigner with the activist group Avaaz.

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Military prosecutors presented an indictment involving the December 15 scuffle, but also other alleged incidents going back to April 2016.

Her father has rejected allegations he is exploiting his daughter for political objectives.

"None of the facts of this case would appear to justify her ongoing detention prior to her trial, particularly given the concerns expressed by the Committee on the Rights of the Child about the use of pre-trial detention and detention on remand". Several rounds of USA -led negotiations on a partition deal have failed, and gaps have only widened between the sides.

In the December 15 video, she talks about President Donald Trump's recognition a week earlier of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

For Palestinians, Ms Tamimi has become a "David and Goliath" style figure challenging the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, a representative of the estimated 300 Palestinian children held in Israeli jails. She accused the court of closing the proceedings to prevent the world from watching.

"It is not about justice", he said.

Israel has framed Tamimi's actions as purely criminal offenses. Such conduct is prohibited by global law.

Gross acknowledged that the drafters of those conventions were likely "not dreaming that occupation will last such a long, long time".

This is not an "isolated case, " said Michael Lynk, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory on Tuesday.

However, a lengthy public trial looked set to only raise her profile and highlight human rights concerns surrounding the detention of minors in Israel.

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