Bassem Tamimi: ‘I don’t trust this court, I don’t trust this legal system, all of which is built to punish the Palestinians.’
By Oren Ziv
An Israeli military appeals court on Wednesday denied bail to Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian girl who was filmed slapping an Israeli soldier at the entrance to her home, and her mother Nariman, ordering them held in prison until the conclusion of their respective trials.
Tamimi is charged with five counts of assaulting security forces, as well as with incitement. Her mother is accused of incitement via social media.
Military Judge Haim Baliti rejected most of the arguments put forth by Attorney Gaby Lasky, who is representing both Ahed and Nariman. In a hearing on Monday, Lasky had challenged the military prosecution’s assertion that both Ahed and Nariman posed a danger to the security of the area, questioned why Ahed was subject to a different legal system than Israeli minors in the West Bank, and called the arrests politically motivated.
In his decision, Baliti said Ahed’s behavior was “ideologically motivated,” based on an assertion that she had repeatedly attacked soldiers over the years. He further argued that the fact that Ahed had never been arrested before went to show the leniency of the security forces, and was not indicative of whether or not those forces viewed Ahed Tamimi’s acts as criminal or not.
Following the two hearings, Bassem Tamimi, Ahed’s father and Nariman’s husband, vowed to continue the struggle for dignity and freedom — until the occupation ends.
“I don’t trust this court, I don’t trust this legal system, all of which is built to punish the Palestinians,” said Bassem, whom the EU once designated a human rights defender and Amnesty International called a prisoner of conscience. “My sister [was] killed inside one of these courts in 1993. My daughter and wife are in the hands of my enemy.”
WATCH: Bassem Tamimi after his wife and daughter’s hearing in military court
While the judge was reading his decision, Maurice Hirsch, formerly the Israeli army’s chief military prosecutor in the West Bank, and who currently works for right-wing NGO Monitor, distributed a document from the organization quoting himself. The document argued that all Western legal systems would have kept Ahed’s in jail the end of legal proceedings, despite what human rights organizations say. The distribution of NGO materials inside a court room is not customary,.