Israeli authorities must release a 16-year-old Palestinian activist who could face up to 10 years in prison over an altercation with Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank last month, Amnesty International said as she appeared in court today.
Ahed Tamimi will go before Ofer military court in the occupied West Bank accused of aggravated assault and 11 other charges after a video showing her shoving, slapping and kicking two Israeli soldiers in her home village of Nabi Saleh on December 15 went viral on Facebook.
“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,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.
“Ahed Tamimi’s ensuing arrest and military trial exposes the Israeli authorities’ discriminatory treatment of Palestinian children who dare to stand up to ongoing, often brutal, repression by occupying forces.”
Ahed Tamimi was arrested on December 19 along with her mother, Nariman Tamimi, and cousin Nour Tamimi after Nariman, also a prominent activist, posted the footage online. Ahed confronted the soldiers amid a demonstration in Nabi Saleh against US President Donald Trump’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The incident took place on the same day that Ahed’s cousin, 15-year-old Mohammad Tamimi, was hit in the head at close range by a rubber bullet fired by an Israeli soldier. His family told Amnesty International that he required surgery that involved the removal of part of his left skull.