Israel military court trial closed for Palestinian protester

OFER MILITARY BASE, West Bank — Palestinian protester Ahed Tamimi went on trial behind closed doors in an Israeli military court Tuesday for slapping and punching two Israeli soldiers — the opening of a high-profile case against the teen who is seen by some as a Joan of Arc-like heroine and by others as a troublemaker or even a terrorist.

Israel’s hard-charging prosecution of Tamimi, recognizable by her unruly mane of curly hair, has drawn international attention and criticism. Underlying the case are clashing narratives about Israel’s half-century of occupation, the extent of permissible Palestinian resistance to it and the battle for global public opinion.

Tamimi, who turned 17 in prison last month, was led into a courtroom packed with journalists, several European diplomats and members of her family.

“Stay strong, stay strong,” shouted her father, Bassem, from the back row. She appeared calm and confident as she took a seat in the dock, surrounded by camera crews and photographers.

After a few minutes, the judge suddenly ordered all spectators except family members to leave and announced that the proceedings would continue behind closed doors. He said he was acting in the best interest of a juvenile defendant.

Defense lawyer Gaby Lasky protested, saying the family wants an open trial.

“The court decided what is best for the court, and not what is good for Ahed,” Lasky later told reporters, accusing the judge of trying to keep the world from watching.

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.

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.

“We believe that this is an indictment solely created in order to deter Ahed and other …read more

Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News


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