Jerusalem: Israel charged a Palestinian teenager with 12 counts including assault on Monday following her arrest after a video of her slapping two Israeli soldiers in the West Bank went viral.
Ahed Tamimi, 16, has been hailed as a hero by Palestinians who see her as bravely standing up to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. Israelis accuse her family of using her as a pawn in staged provocations.
The charges filed with an Israeli military court relate to the events in the video but also five other incidents and include stone-throwing, incitement and making threats.
She could face a lengthy jail term if convicted.
Five charges were also filed against her mother Nariman and on Sunday her cousin Nour, 20, was indicted as well.
The accusations against Nariman Tamimi include using Facebook “to incite others to commit terrorist attacks” and participating in the incident on video, the army said in a statement.
Ahed Tamimi and her mother have been ordered to remain in custody until at least January 8, when another hearing will be held.
Prosecutors are requesting that they be kept in detention until the completion of their trial.
– Attempt to provoke –
Nour Tamimi is to be released on bail of 5,000 shekels ($1,400, 1,200 euros) on Tuesday afternoon barring an appeal by prosecutors, said the Tamimis’ lawyer, Gaby Lasky.
Ahed Tamimi’s family says the December 15 incident that led to the arrests occurred in the yard of their home in Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah.
Palestinians say she is engaged in legitimate resistance against Israel’s 50-year occupation of the West Bank.
Lasky called prosecutors’ decision to charge her not only for the incident on video but also for past incidents “strange” and a bid to ensure she serves significant jail time.
“Since Ahed became kind of a symbol of resistance, they wanted to find a way to keep her in detention for a long period of time,” she told AFP.
Lasky said she had not had time to study all the charges and evidence presented, so she could not yet say what length of sentence the teenager, who is being tried as a minor, could face, but she feared it could be “for a long time.”
Ahed Tamimi’s father has said he fears she will be imprisoned over the incident, particularly because it has become “a case of public opinion” in Israel.
Israel’s atrocities against Palestinian minors
Ahed was arrested in the midnight from her house. She was allegedly interrogated for hours and forced to confess the crimes. She did not even receive food properly.
According to the rights group, she spent the night in the dark detention cell.
It may be noted that she was arrested from West Bank and taken into occupied territory which is the violation of international laws.
It may be mentioned that since 2012, every year, Israel has prosecuted more than 700 Palestinian minors. Despite knowing that they are minor, Israeli authorities handcuff them. Arrested minors are subjected to physical and mental abuse.
With inputs from AFP