Israel indicts Palestinian teen activist Ahed Tamimi
Ahed Tamimi, 16, of Nabih Saleh indicted by military court for assaulting soldier and interfering with soldier’s duties.
Bethlehem, occupied West Bank – Israeli authorities are seeking 12 charges against Ahed Tamimi, a prominent 16-year-old Palestinian activist filmed slapping and kicking two Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank.
The teenager was detained on December 19, four days after the video showing her confronting the soldiers outside her family’s home in the village of Nabi Saleh went viral.
The incident occurred moments after Israeli forces had shot Ahed’s 15-year-old cousin point-blank in the face with a rubber bullet.
The wounded minor experienced severe internal bleeding and was put in a medically-induced coma for 72 hours.
Ahed’s 20-year-old cousin Nour, who also appeared in the video, as well as her mother Nariman, were arrested soon afterwards.
During a hearing on Monday at Israel’s Ofer military court near Ramallah, Ahed faced 12 charges, including assaulting an Israeli soldier, interfering with a soldier’s duties and two past instances of stone-throwing, according to her lawyer Gaby Lasky.
Lasky told Al Jazeera that Nariman was charged with “incitement” for uploading the video on social media, as well as another charge of assault.
The lawyer said that Ahed and Nariman’s charges include older incidents unrelated to the video.
Nour was charged on Sunday with allegedly assaulting a soldier and interfering with a soldier’s duties, said Lasky.
The Tamimi family are well-known activists in Nabi Saleh.
While this is the first time Ahed has been detained by Israeli forces, Nariman has been arrested at least five times in the past.
On Thursday, Manal Tamimi, who is related to the women, was also arrested during a demonstration outside the Ofer detention centre demanding the release of her relatives and Munther Amira, another prominent Palestinian activist from Bethlehem’s Aida refugee camp who was arrested last week.
Lasky said that she was able to secure the release of Nour and Manal – who has not been charged with a crime. However, the Israeli army’s prosecutors have until Tuesday to appeal the decision.
‘There’s a possibility of her facing a lot of time’
Ahed’s father, Bassem, told Al Jazeera that it was very likely his daughter would be sentenced and imprisoned over the charges.
“They built the case around her specifically to try to keep her in prison as long as they can,” he said.
“I am very worried about my daughter,” added Bassem, who has also been arrested numerous times by Israeli forces.
“Her fate is now in the hands of people who don’t even see Palestinians as full human beings.”
Lasky told Al Jazeera that owing to the charges against Ahed, “there’s a possibility of her facing a lot of time”.
She noted that Palestinian teenagers typically face about six to nine months in prison for charges of stone-throwing.
Prisoners’ rights group, Addameer, has reported that stone-throwing is the most common charge levied against Palestinian children. In the occupied West Bank, where Palestinians are governed by Israeli military law, stone-throwing is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
The group says that Israel routinely targets “the youngest and most vulnerable” members of politically active Palestinian families to “exert pressure on their family and the entire community to put an end to all social mobilisation.”
Bassem told Al Jazeera that Israel is attempting to “break Ahed because she is a symbol of the resistance”.
“Israel wants to show other young Palestinians what will happen to them if they try to resist.”