After 30 days in jail, Ahed Tamimi’s detention is extended indefinitely

Israel/Palestine

Ahed Tamimi, 16, has been held in an Israeli prison for nearly a month since her arrest last December 19 for slapping a soldier. Today a military court in Ofer prison inside occupied territory extended her detention indefinitely, till she is tried.

B’Tselem reports:

Today (Wednesday, 17 Jan. 2018), a military judge approved the prosecution’s request to remand ‘Ahed and Nariman Tamimi in custody….

Remand for the duration of the proceedings means that a person continues to be held in custody after the investigation has been concluded and an indictment filed, until all legal proceedings, including judgment and sentencing are over. During this time, the detainee is not serving a prison sentence and is supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The Guardian quotes the judge:

“I found no alternative other than to order her detention in custody until the end of proceedings,” the judge ruled…. “The gravity of the offences of which she is accused does not allow an alternative to custody.”

Tamimi’s mother was also remanded, B’Tselem says:

Both ‘Ahed Tamimi (16) and her mother Nariman (42) have been in custody since 19 December 2017, after ‘Ahed was taken from her home in the middle of the night, and her mother was arrested when she came to find out what was happening with her daughter later that day. All the military prosecution’s requests to extend their detention have been approved by the military judges. Meanwhile, the prosecution has built up inflated case files against both mother and daughter, including a litany of charges that go back as far as April 2016 – conveniently ignoring the fact that until now, the authorities have seen no need to arrest the alleged suspects or call them in for questioning…

The human rights organization says Tamimi is hardly singular. “Look at Ahed Tamimi and see what happens to Palestinian minors in Israeli military courts. Decision to remand Tamimi in custody is no surprise when judges & prosecutors are military personnel, defendants are Palestinian & conviction rate nears 100%.”

Lara Friedman of Foundation for Middle East Peace quotes the military judge, per Haaretz, and comments:

Judge: ‘initiative she showed & severity of the violence she used [slaps, kicks] attests to the risk she poses’ [to Israeli ego, pride, defense of occupation]

Anyone who is shocked that a young woman accused of a trivial offense could be held for a month and counting doesn’t understand that no normal law applies in occupied Palestine. This is military law. So the case is surely a teaching moment about how “rather than serving justice, Israel’s military court system is a major tool of oppression serving Israel’s control over Palestinians in the Occupied Territories,” as B’Tselem says. You may not have read that in the New York Times, but that has been every day life for Palestinians for 50 years.

The lengthy detention turns out not to be at all unusual; plenty of people are held without trial by Israel. Occupation means that normal judicial procedures, and international understandings– representation by counsel, presumption of innocence, bail as a measure to stop flight risks, not to punish the accused — that’s all suspended here.

Bill van Esveld at Human Rights Watch says that the prosecution is throwing the book at Tamimi, and the pattern is consistent:

Unlike the leniency often shown to settlers – even those who slap Israeli soldiers – the prosecution is throwing the book at the girl, whose indictment includes a dozen counts of assault, incitement, interference with soldiers, and stone-throwing in incidents since April 1, 2016.

And unlike Israeli civilian courts’ treatment of Israelis, military courts in the West Bank deny bail in 70 percent of cases involving Palestinian children. A 2013 UNICEF report found that almost all children plead guilty to reduce the length of pretrial detention, because doing so, “is the quickest way to be released,” from a system that typically denies children access to a lawyer or the presence of their parent during coercive interrogations and, “does not allow children to defend themselves.” Considering that the military prosecutor plans to summon 18 witnesses, mostly soldiers, Ahed’s trial could take months.

About James North and Philip Weiss

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9 Responses

  1. Citizen
    January 17, 2018, 2:16 pm

    US tax dollars hard at work

    • Misterioso
      January 18, 2018, 10:27 am

      Meanwhile, in Canada:

      https://canadatalksisraelpalestine.ca/2018/01/17/amnesty-canada-takes-up-the-issue-of-ahed-tamimi-a-16-year-old-palestinian-girl-in-israeli-jail/

      “Amnesty Canada takes up the issue of Ahed Tamimi, a 16 year old Palestinian girl in Israeli jail” – Canada Talks Israel/Palestine, Jan. 18/18

      EXCERPT:
      “Amnesty International Canada has joined the international campaign for the release of the young Palestinian woman taken from her home in the middle of the night by Israeli forces. There are over 300 other Palestinian children in Israeli jails.”

      “’Nothing that Ahed Tamimi has done can justify the continuing detention of a 16-year-old girl. The Israeli authorities must release her without delay. In capturing an unarmed teenage girl’s assault on two armed soldiers wearing protective gear, the footage of this incident shows that she posed no actual threat and that her punishment is blatantly disproportionate.’” – Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Director, Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

      Also:
      https://electronicintifada. net/blogs/nora-barrows- friedman/canadian-political- party-track-support-bds
      Electronic Intifada, 16 January 2018
      “Is a Canadian Political Party on track to Supporting BDS?” by Nora Barrows-Friedman.

      EXCERPT:
      “Human rights activists in Canada are backing a resolution that would reset the leftist New Democratic Party’s (NDP) political orientation around Palestine.

      “The resolution, which will be introduced during the party’s policy convention next month, calls on the Canadian government to sanction Israel for its abuses of Palestinian rights and demands Israel lift the Gaza siege, end the occupation and settlement enterprise in the West Bank and address Palestinian refugees’ right of return.

      “It also seeks to oppose governmental efforts ‘to undermine non-violent movements seeking a just resolution,’ taking aim at the parliamentary smears **against the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign for Palestinian rights.

      “Activists say that with the recent election of party leader Jagmeet Singh, who has spoken out in defense of Palestine solidarity activism, BDS and Palestinian rights, there is optimism about what the new leadership can bring forward in terms of action on Palestine.
      Singh has indicated that he is open to supporting targeted sanctions on Israel. He said he backs mandatory labeling of products made in Israeli settlements ‘and excluding these products from the benefits of CIFTA [Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement]. I am also open to considering a ban,’ he stated.

      “’We see this as an opportunity,’ said Yazan Khader, an activist and member of the NDP. ‘More and more New Democrats are becoming aware of the injustices Palestinians face, and they want to take action,’ he told The Electronic Intifada.”

      **Apparently, thus far, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has proven to be a toady of the pro-Israel lobby despite the fact that repeated polls have shown that the majority of Canadians stand with the Palestinians.

  2. amigo
    January 17, 2018, 3:49 pm

    An appropriate time to repost this .Perhaps this time dubakr can chime in and complain about his beloved illegal squatters doing their best to make the IDF look as bad as they can.

    “What Happened When a Jewish Settler Slapped an Israeli Soldier
    Both Ahed Tamimi and Yifat Alkobi were questioned for slapping a soldier in the West Bank, but little else about their cases are similar — simply because one is Jewish, the other Palestinian”.haaretz

    “This slap didnt lead the nightly news. This slap, which landed on the cheek of a Nahal soldier in Hebron, did not lead to an indictment. The assailant, who slapped a soldier who was trying to stop her from throwing stones, was taken in for questioning but released on bail the same day and allowed to return home.

    Prior to this incident, she had been convicted five times — for throwing rocks, for assaulting a police officer and for disorderly conduct, but was not jailed even once.

    In one instance, she was sentenced to probation, and in the rest to a month of community service and practically a token fine, as compensation to the injured parties. The accused systematically failed to heed summonses for questioning or for legal proceedings, but soldiers did not come to drag her out of bed in the middle of the night, nor were any of her relatives arrested. Aside from a brief report by Chaim Levinson about the incident, on July 2, 2010, there were hardly any repercussions to the slap and scratches inflicted by Yifat Alkobi on the face of a soldier who caught her hurling rocks a Palestinians.

    The Israel Defense Forces Spokespersons Unit said at the time that the army takes a grave view of any incidence of violence toward security forces, and yet the assailant goes on living peacefully at home. The education minister didnt demand that she sit in prison, social media have not exploded with calls for her to be raped or murdered, and columnist Ben Caspit didnt recommend that she punished to the full extent of the law in a dark place, without cameras.

    Like Ahed Tamimi, Alkobi has been known for years to the military and police forces that surround her place of residence, and both are considered a nuisance and even a danger. The main difference between them is that Tamimi assaulted a soldier who was sent by a hostile government that does not recognize her existence, steals her land and kills and wounds her relatives, while Alkobi, a serial criminal, assaulted a soldier from her own people and her religion, who was sent by her nation to protect her, a nation in which she is a citizen with special privileges.

    Jewish violence against soldiers in the territories has been a matter of routine for years. But even when it seems like theres no point asking that soldiers in the territories protect Palestinians from physical harassment and vandalism of their property by settlers, its hard to understand why the authorities continue to turn a blind eye, to cover up and close cases or not even open them, when the violators are Jews. There is plenty of evidence, some of it recorded on camera. And yet the offenders still sleep at home in their beds, emboldened by divine command and amply funded by organizations that receive state support.”

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-what-happened-when-a-jewish-settler-slapped-an-israeli-soldier-1.5630408

    No paywall with this link.

    Comments welcome from Duhbakr.

  3. Curatica
    January 17, 2018, 8:55 pm

    Disgusting and disheartening.

  4. JosephA
    January 17, 2018, 9:59 pm

    This is no surprise. What is surprising is that Israel would be able to act with such impunity and not worry about the negative PR that has and will continue to come from this insane case.

  5. iResistDe4iAm
    January 18, 2018, 8:36 pm

    A Timely Reminder…

    The conviction rate for Palestinian suspects in Israeli military courts is a whopping 99.74%
    https://www.haaretz.com/nearly-100-of-all-military-court-cases-in-west-bank-end-in-conviction-haaretz-learns-1.398369

    But the conviction rate for Palestinian CHILDREN in Israeli military courts is even higher at a shocking 99.88%
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-convicts-most-stone-throwing-palestinian-children-right-group-says-1.373807

    Of the 853 Palestinian CHILDREN charged in Israeli military courts over a six-year period, only ONE (1) child was acquitted:
    – 1 out of 853 children was not found guilty and was acquitted, after being “held in custody until the end of legal proceedings”.
    – 852 out of 853 children were either pressured to plead guilty or found to be guilty. “The pressure to plead guilty is great, because generally minors charged with throwing rocks are held in custody until the end of legal proceedings; a regular trial could keep them detained for longer than the sentence they receive after pleading guilty, which is usually no more than a few months”.

    But Wait … Israel actually imprisons far more Palestinians that it convicts.

    How? … When Israel cannot produce “evidence” to convict, it uses Administrative Detention to imprison Palestinians WITHOUT charge or trial (for arbitrary periods that can be renewed indefinitely). To add insult to injury, requests for Administrative Detention were approved at a rate of 98.77% (see first link above).

    The Israeli military court system is either uniquely perfect, or oppressively corrupt … you be the judge.

    Prisoner Summary as at December 2017:
    Total Palestinian prisoners = 6,171
    Child prisoners = 350 (~5.7%)
    Administrative detainees = 434 including 8 elected PLC members (~7.0%)
    http://www.addameer.org/statistics/20171231

    • RoHa
      January 18, 2018, 10:02 pm

      “The conviction rate for Palestinian suspects in Israeli military courts is a whopping 99.74%”

      This proves that the Israelis almost never arrest the wrong person, doesn’t it?

      • Talkback
        January 19, 2018, 5:23 am

        Of course it does. That also explains why they don’t need to present evidence, provide for a fair trial or allow a lawyer to visit and consult the prisoner.

        They are probably as effective as the inquisition.

  6. Tony Greenstein
    January 18, 2018, 9:06 pm

    this is an outrage. Holding what is a child on remand for maybe a year or more. Administrative detention by another name

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