Palestinian teen to be held over viral slap video

Her prosecution has sparked debate over Israel's treatment of minors.
Her prosecution has sparked debate over Israel's treatment of minors. Photo credit: Getty

An Israeli military judge has ordered a 16-year-old Palestinian girl to be detained until her trial after a video went viral showing her attacking Israeli soldiers.

Activist Ahed Tamimi was arrested and charged in a case that has drawn attention from international human rights groups.

In December 2017, a video of Ahed confronting Israeli soldiers went viral. The video shows her allegedly shoving, slapping, kicking and hitting soldiers.

Days later, Ahed was arrested in a night-time raid. She has been charged with 12 counts, including assault, stone-throwing, incitement and making threats.

This week, a judge ordered her held in custody, meaning she could spend months behind bars before her case is finished.

"I found no alternative other than to order her detention in custody until the end of proceedings," the judge ruled.

"The gravity of the offences of which she is accused does not allow an alternative to custody."

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

The case has sparked debate over the minor's continued detention.

The UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights has criticised Israeli authorities, saying the "deprivation of liberty of children shall only be used as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time".

Bassem Tamimi, Ahed's father, told Al Jazeera he didn't expect any justice from Israel.

"The system is set up to oppress Palestinians," he said.

"No one will be surprised when they sentence Ahed to prison. This is Israel's goal: destroy Palestinians' childhood."

However for many Israelis, outraged by the attacks on their military, her actions deserve to be punished.

"Now when she's in jail, I think she's going to pay the price and it's a very high price," says Anat Berko, a right-wing MP from the Likud party.

"And I am very sorry that the family did not stop this behaviour.

"The motivation is to be provocative and our brave soldiers did not react to this provocative behaviour of the Tamimi girl."


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