United Nations rights experts demand release of Palestinian girl detained in Israel



In one, taken when she was 12, she is raising a clenched fist at a soldier who towers over her. At the time, Erdogan presented her with a "courage" award. While only 13, Ahed opened an art exhibit in Istanbul aptly titled "Being a Child in Palestine".

Palestinians had mixed reactions to the incident. Israel says she'd pose a threat if she were released on bail.

The Israeli military judge overseeing the trial of Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi has ordered all proceedings to take place behind closed doors.

"From Trayvon Martin to Mohammed Abu Khdeir and Khalif Browder to Ahed Tamimi - racism, state violence and mass incarceration have robbed our people of their childhoods and their futures", read the open letter organized by US -based Dream Defenders group that was formed following Martin's death to fight for social change. An Israeli musician even likened her to Anne Frank.

Tamimi's middle-of-the-night arrest from her home in December and her pre-trial court appearances, flanked by Israeli guards and looking impassive, have evoked a sense of history on a loop.

The incident was confirmed by the Israeli military, which said rocks were hurled at the auto, which was clearly marked as an army vehicle.

It is in this unusual sense that it is Israelis, not Palestinians, who experience humiliation in the current situation-despite Israel being in total control of every aspect of the Palestinian life experience, which for Palestinians involves a daily encounter with oppressive policies created to frighten, humiliate, and subjugate.

The video caused a great debate in both Israeli and Palestinian societies.

When Palestinians are noticed, as in this incident, it tends to be with derision, and expressions of a domineering Israeli political will that considers it entirely fitting to impose punishments on Palestinian children of a severity totally disproportionate to the gravity of the supposed crime.

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Michael Sfard, an Israeli human rights lawyer, said that Israeli military law "is set up to label every act of resistance, violent or nonviolent, as criminal" and that the military court system is just another branch of an occupying army.

Of course, there are more sophisticated Israeli responses to Ahed's challenge.

The teen with the large curly mane of blond hair, who turned 17 in jail last month, has become the latest symbol of the long-running battle between Palestinians and Israelis over global public opinion.

In later events captured on video, Ahed yells at the soldiers to leave, slapping one and punching the other in the head.

Sixty per cent of Palestinian children who were arrested by Israeli occupation forces were verbally, physically or psychologically tortured, the Palestinian Prisoners' Club (PPC) revealed yesterday.

What will happen to her?


Fitzpatrick shared a new freely downloadable image on his website of Ahed holding up the Palestinian flag. "He was more serious, more thoughtful, considering my questions before firing back, and also more inquisitive, asking me far more questions for a change", the editor wrote.

Bassem Tamimi told journalists after the adjournment that "having people attend the court - journalists, consuls, diplomats, observers and lawyers - is very important because it keeps them safe and makes us feel that those in court are safe". This is reminiscent of South African administration of criminal justice at the height of apartheid racism. "Yes, there is a price (to pay). but this generation Ahed represents will be the generation of freedom".

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