Israeli military trial opens for Palestinian girl hero
The Israeli military has begun the trial of a Palestinian teenage girl, who gained international fame for slapping an Israeli soldier in the face, behind closed doors.
Ahed Tamimi, 17, was taken away from her home by the military last December after a video went viral showing her slapping and punching two Israeli soldiers during a raid on the village of Nabi Saleh, northwest of Ramallah.
She has been hailed as a heroine by many Palestinians for bravely standing up to the Israeli military aggression and recognized as a symbol of the Palestinian resistance against the Zionist regime’s occupation.
Tamimi has been charged with 12 counts -- including assault, stone-throwing, incitement and making threats -- in connection with the events in the video as well as five other incidents.
If convicted, she could face a lengthy jail term.
A hearing into the case of Tamimi opened at the Ofer military prison in the West Bank village of Betunia on Tuesday.
The judge ordered journalists and diplomats to leave the courtroom, but the girl's family members were allowed to remain there.
Tamimi's lawyer Gaby Lasky criticized the judge for shutting the media and members of the public out of the trial. "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."
Lasky went on, "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."
On Monday, Amnesty International called for Tamimi's release and accused the Tel Aviv regime of discriminatory treatment of Palestinian children.