An Israeli military court yesterday charged Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi with five counts of assault against security forces and throwing stones at the military, two weeks since her detention, according to Haaretz.
Tamimi, a resident of Nabi Saleh in the occupied West Bank, was arrested after a video of her and her cousin forcing Israeli occupation forces off her family’s land went viral on social media. This came moments after occupation forces shot her cousin in the head with rubber-coated steel bullets.
As well as her resistance last month, several incidents of protest from May 2017 and April 2016 were brought against Tamimi culminating in five counts of assault, namely threatening a soldier, attacking a soldier under aggravated circumstances, interfering with a soldier in carrying out his duties, incitement, and throwing objects at individuals or property.
The court announced that Ahed’s mother Nariman Tamimi, would also face charges of assault and of incitement on social media, for broadcasting the event on Facebook Live.
The charge of incitement for mother and daughter also applies to a short interview Nariman subsequently filmed of her daughter, in which Ahed calls for resistance following US President Donald Trump’s designation of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“I hope everyone will participate in the protests because that is the only solution to reach a result. Our strength is in our rocks and I hope that the entire world will unite to liberate Palestine because Trump announced a decision and they need to bear responsibility for every response that will come from us,” the indictment quotes the 16 year-old as saying.
According to the Israeli military prosecution, such a statement constituted a threat: “[Tamimi] tried verbally and in other ways to influence public opinion in the area in a manner that could well disturb public safety or public order.”
The Tamimi’s lawyer, Gaby Lasky, told reporters that the case was indicative of the desire of the Israeli army to silence Tamimi and suppress protest.
“The indictment is unusual because Ahed was arrested because of the incident filmed on video. Because this incident in its own right does not justify a long detention as the prosecution wanted, they kept her under arrest in order to find incidents from the past.”
“There is a desire to try and use the case of Ahed as a case for deterring other young people from trying to rise up against the occupation,” she concluded.
Tamimi, who’s detention was extended three times before she was brought to court, has received widespread media attention and a social media campaign #FreeAhed, has been launched in support of her case.
Last week, dozens British MPs expressed concern at Tamimi’s arrest and signed a motion calling for her release. The Grand Imam of Egypt’s Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayeb, has also denounced her arrest and praised the teenager’s courage.