Despite Ahed Tamimi’s willingness for a transparent and public trial, the Judea Military Court on Tuesday ordered her case to be tried behind closed doors.
The court said it was standard procedure to hold trials involving minors, like Tamimi, out of public view in order to protect those involved who are not yet adults.
But Tamimi’s lawyer, Gaby Lasky, criticized the decision saying, “It’s strange that the court decided – after sending Ahed into detention until the end of her trial and after her name had already been publicized – that it is in her interests to conduct the trial far off from public view.”
“While this decision nominally is said to protect Ahed,” she said, “instead it really tries to protect the court.”
Lasky also pointed out that multiple court hearings relating to Tamimi had already been held that included a massive media and diplomatic presence, as well as that a video of Tamimi, which is the main subject of the trial, already went viral on social media.
In the video, Tamimi can be seen pushing and kicking two soldiers, though there is no sign that her small size presented any danger to the soldiers, who mostly ignored her.
The video evoked polarized reactions, with much of the Israeli camp expressing outrage that Tamimi and her cousin were not arrested on the spot, and much of the Palestinian camp cheering her aggressive resistance of what they view as Israeli occupation.
She has sparked such attention that dozens of media outlets in Hebrew, Arabic and English, as well as diplomats from several European countries, have attended her pre-trial hearings, which were standing- room only.
The human-rights group Amnesty International released a statement leading into Tuesday’s hearing that called on Israel to immediately release Tamimi, who has been held since December 19, and argued that her continued detention from a January 17 court ruling violates international law.
NGO Monitor responded, “Ahed Tamimi is a prime example of how children are exploited and weaponized in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Such conduct is prohibited by international law. Yet instead of condemning this reprehensible practice, so-called human-rights groups like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are central players in this cynical propaganda campaign.”
Meanwhile, the Israel Prisons Service rejected a request on Tuesday by Joint List MK Yousef Jabareen to visit Tamimi.
Jabareen said he would appeal to the High Court of Justice.