An Israeli military court has blocked a bid to make the high-profile trial of Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi public, meaning it will continue behind closed doors, her lawyer said Monday.
“The Military Appeals Tribunal dismissed the defense’s appeal against a closed trial,” Gaby Lasky wrote on Twitter. “A public trial was the only defense and it’s obvious that in its absence, Ahed Tamimi will not be entitled to a fair trial.”
Tamimi was arrested four months ago after the 17-year-old appeared in a viral video, along with her mother and cousin, slapping and shoving two Israeli soldier outside their family home in the village of Nabi Saleh in the occupied West Bank.
The soldiers had taken up positions next to the house amid near daily protests in the village against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Tamimi has been charged with 12 counts including assault and could face a lengthy jail term if convicted. Her trial -- which has found wide resonance with Palestinians -- opened on February 13 and is scheduled to continue on March 21 in front of Israel’s Ofer military court near Ramallah in the West Bank.
Mariam Barghouti, a Palestinian activist close to the Tamimi family and Ahed’s mother, Nariman, confirmed to AFP that the request for a public trail had been rejected. Questioned by AFP, a military spokesman was not able to confirm the decision.
The United Nation’s human rights body and the EU have expressed concern over Ahed’s case, and Amnesty International has called for her immediate release. About 350 Palestinian children are being held in detention by Israel, according to Amnesty.