Despite Initial Ban, Israeli Army Has No Objection to Trying Palestinian Teen Tamimi in Open Court

Army prosecutor says keeping trial of teenage Palestinian activist closed, as per court decision, works to her advantage

File - In this Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017 file photo, Ahed Tamimi is brought to a courtroom inside Ofer military prison near Jerusalem. Tamimi, 16, from the village of Nebi Saleh on Monday for attacking the soldiers as well as for previous altercations. It extended her remand for 8 days. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)
Mahmoud Illean/AP

The military prosecution doesn’t object to holding the trial of teenage Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi in open court, its representative, attorney Maj. Gilad Peretz, told a military appeals court on Monday.

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This was in response to an appeal filed by Tamimi’s lawyer Gaby Lasky, regarding the Ofer Military Court’s intention to hold the trial behind closed doors. Peretz argued that keeping the hearings closed would be “to Tamimi’s advantage.”

Tamimi, 17, who is charged with stone-throwing and attacking soldiers on several occasions, was arrested after a video showing her slapping soldiers went viral. All her detention hearings were held in open court and generated considerable criticism in the international media about her arrest.

After she was indicted, the court decided to close the hearings to the public, although the military prosecution never asked for this and Tamimi and her family objected.

>> Analysis: Israel will no longer allow Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi to make the occupation look bad <<

During the appeal hearing, Peretz explained that the military prosecution had never objected to opening Tamimi’s hearings to the public. “We left the request to open the hearings to the judgment of the court of first instance, and we will leave that request to the discretion of this honorable court.”

The case against Ahed Tamimi

Peretz added that as far as the military prosecution is concerned, the issue could be returned to the Ofer Military Court for reconsideration. Lasky opposed returning the decision to the lower court, saying it wouldn’t change its mind.

The appeals court did not issue a ruling Monday, but is expected to do so shortly. However, the appeals court released a transcript of the hearing for publication, after the hearing on whether the trial should be open was itself held behind closed doors.

Tamimi, a resident of Nabi Saleh, was arrested with her mother and cousin, who were charged in the incident that was videotaped. Ahed is alleged to have been involved in other, more serious incidents. Tamimi has been detained since mid-December, and will remain detained until the end of legal proceedings.

Ahed Tamimi's attorney Gaby Lasky blasts court for closing off proceedings Hagar Shezaf