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Military court: Ahed Tamimi and her mom to remain in prison

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

Ahed Tamimi is seen before her hearing at Ofer Military Court near the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 17, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Ahed Tamimi is seen before her hearing at Ofer Military Court near the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 17, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

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 in jail until the end of legal proceedings, despite what human rights organizations mifht say. The distribution of NGO materials inside a court room is not customary.

During a break between Ahed and Nariman’s hearings, Hirsch began yelling their lawyer, Gaby Lasky, while the latter was speaking to journalists. Hirsch claimed that Ahed “clearly supported suicide bombings.” During Nariman’s hearing, Lasky complained to the judge about Hirsch’s behavior during the hearing; the judge did not intervene.

is seen before her hearing at Ofer Military Court near the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 17, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Nariman Tamimi before her hearing at Ofer Military Court near the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 17, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

“I am not surprised by the ruling but I am disappointed that they accepted hardly any of our arguments regarding two separate legal systems that apply to different kinds of people in the same territory,” Lasky told +972 Magazine after the hearing, “or regarding the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is recognized by Israel as it applies to the occupied territories.”

“Despite the fact that Ahed is a 16 year old who was born into the reality of occupation, we will be forced to handle this case while she is in custody,” Lasky continued. “All the allegations relate to something that took place in the yard of her home, or meters from it. It was possible to find guarantees and conditions to allow for her release.”

“One cannot say that the occupation is not ideological,” Lasky said in response to the judge’s claim that Ahed had acted on ideological grounds when attacking the soldier. “If that is true, then it is true for those who support it as well as those who oppose it. We provided plenty of examples of soldiers who committed far more serious offenses, yet the court released them on [bail]. I did not expect the court of the occupation, which was created to enforce the law on the occupied, would accept such an argument.”

Ahed’s trial is set to begin on January 31st, which will also be her 17th birthday.

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    1. Monty Conta

      Ahed is in danger of being honor killed by her family if she is released. She should be kept in prison for her own safety.

      Reply to Comment
    2. the revolutionary canadian

      Free ahed!!! free palestine!!! end the occupation!!!!

      Reply to Comment
      • Itshak Gordin Halevy

        Most Israeli are very happy that she stays in jail. All her family and herself are in the “Palestine” business. On the other hand there has never been any “Palestinian” State. Even Arabs agree that the “Palestinian People” does not exist.

        Reply to Comment
        • Nathanael

          Most Israelis are racists (51% are racists according to recent surveys).

          The fact that racist bigots want to jail an innocent 17-year-old for defending her family against brutal soldiers is… unsurprising.

          Reply to Comment
    3. Paulo Costa

      Other simple solution: the Israeli army obbeys UN resolutions and leave the occupied territories

      Reply to Comment
    4. For those interested, here’s our statement:


      Jerusalem – Today the Israeli Military Court ordered the continued remand of Ahed Tamimi pending her trial. Tamimi was indicted on multiple counts of assault of law enforcement officers, slingshotting stones, and incitement to commit suicide attacks.

      Since her arrest, NGOs claiming to promote human rights have been calling for her release, primarily on the basis of her age as well as the political motivations surrounding the incidents.

      In response, Lt. Col. (res.) Maurice Hirsch, former head of prosecution in Judea and Samaria and Military Justice Consultant at NGO Monitor, states, “Tamimi’s repeated attacks on security forces, other violent crimes, and incitement to terrorism would in most, if not all, Western legal systems warrant her arrest pending trial. NGOs cannot have it both ways: arguing that she is treated too harshly for a 16-year old, but also lauding her for engaging in an intentional provocation against soldiers.”

      NGO Monitor notes that the NGOs advocating for Tamimi’s release regularly attack the military courts, claiming inherent bias. However, today’s decision shows that the court acted independently and applied the law, basing its decisions on the evidence presented and the other relevant factors.

      It is important to highlight Tamimi’s home environment. Her father was previously convicted of organizing the village’s children to ambush and attack Israeli soldiers. Her mother has also been indicted for similar offenses.

      Hirsch adds, “If these self-described ‘human rights organizations’ had any credibility they would condemn the systematic incitement and weaponization of children promoted in Palestinian society. They would also condemn the violent action and rhetoric of the defendant.”

      Reply to Comment
      • Bruce Gould

        @NGO Monitor: I notice that your website claims that B’tselem has a ‘political agenda’. Can you provide justification for that? And can you explain what a ‘political agenda’ is, and what an NGO that didn’t have a ‘political agenda’ would look like?

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        @’NGO Monitor’: As Dahlia Scheindlin tweeted in reference to this article, “Really, the lies we tell ourselves blow the human mind. Military Justice: farce &oxymoron.”

        Your statement, really every sentence of it, is one striking Orwellian lie after another. “Incitement…terrorism…weaponization of children…the court acted independently and applied the law, etc.” But let’s just address one choice tidbit:

        “in most, if not all, Western legal systems”

        The lie tucked into this construction is obvious. The legal system of the entity comprising Israel and the territory it occupies is most definitely not anything like “most, if not all, Western legal systems.” It is an apartheid system of dual legal regimes, one for Arabs and one for Jews, backed up by a seamless, meticulous apparatus of police, army troops, lawyers, judges, bureaucrats and prisons. And of course by propaganda, such as that of NGO Monitor.

        This entire apartheid regime, needless to say, itself rests on a foundation of an illegal occupation and population transfer regime violating international law including the Geneva Conventions. It emulates, in letter and spirit, not any Western legal system whatsoever, but resembles much more the system of the East German Stasi.

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        NGO Monitor, which complains of “political agendas” that it is “monitoring” might want to explain this–have you complained about this one yet, NGO Monitor?:

        Prominent Right-wing NGO Receives Millions of Shekels in Public Funds
        A Haaretz investigation shows the organization, which fights alleged illegal Arab construction, gets money from several West Bank councils funded by taxpayers

        Reply to Comment
    5. Itshak Gordin Halevy

      She seems to be happy and in very good health on the picture.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Halevy can’t get over it. A Palestinian (and a girl!) is actually independent and unbowed, non-submissive, pleased with her successful resistance. And the regime appears to have actually held off for now on doing to her what prominent Israeli journalist and manly paragon, Ben Caspit, publicly recommended Israeli men do to her “in the dark” when the cameras are not running. She remains unbroken. Halevy finds it remarkable.

        To me, her smile seems to me much the same kind of smile that Nelson Mandela showed as a young man. And the smile he much later, after so much, still managed–indomitable, unbroken, unbowed. Ahed Tamimi is remarkable. The public campaign to focus attention on her and protect her and get her released needs to be unrelenting and fierce.

        Reply to Comment
        • Lewis from Afula

          There is nothing “fakestinyan” about this girl. She is a JORDANIAN who simply CHOSE to change her nation’s name after losing a war (1967) that her people started to destrot their neighbors – the Israelis.

          Repatriate this bitch back home to the East Bank.
          Confiscate their property in the same way they confisctaed OUR property in the Arab World in the 1950s and 1960s. Make these nasty dogs accountable for ALL their crimes – BEFORE from 70 years ago and today.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            May God protect Ahed Tammimi from Israeli males who would do bad things to her in the dark when cameras are not recording, and protect Ahed Tammimi from snarling Isareli males calling her a “dog” and a “bitch.” Apparently there are many such Israeli males, even mainstream Israeli TV journalists not just punks from Afula. Lewis, baby, you oughta try to camouflage your dehumanizing screeds a bit better than to just wantonly come out of the closest and use the words “dog” and “bitch.” Why make it so obvious that you are a racist dehumanizer? You are the true face of the Israeli right, though. You are no different than Netanyahu and Shaked and Smotrich. You just lack impulse control and smoothness and any desire to wear a mask.

            Reply to Comment
    6. Dianne Clark

      Were IDF soldiers at the Tamimi home to incite a reaction from the family? Agree w UK – soldiers shdnt have been @ their home. Regardless, Israel government response appears ridiculous, oppressive, lack compassion, humanity. UN needs to man up and enforce international law. Disappointed Australia abstains to vote. Just shows power of lobby groups with peace the loser.

      Reply to Comment