Israel judge orders Ahed Tamimi to remain in custody until trial ends

Human rights groups have called on Israel to release her immediately

Ahed Tamimi is brought to a courtroom inside the Ofer military prison near Jerusalem, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. Tamimi, 16, was filmed in December pushing, kicking and slapping Israeli soldiers, who stood by silently. Her father said the girl was upset after her 15-year-old cousin was shot in the head with a rubber bullet. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
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An Israeli military judge on Wednesday ordered that 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi be held in custody until her trial ends.

"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 do not allow an alternative to custody."

Ahed has been hailed as a hero by Palestinians for standing up to Israel's occupation of the West Bank.

Israelis accuse her family of using her as a pawn in staged provocations.

She has been charged with 12 counts, including assault and could face a lengthy jail term if convicted.

The judge's decision on Wednesday raises the possibility that she could spend months in custody before the conclusion of her case.

Representatives from the French and Swedish consulates as well as the European Union attended the hearing for Ahed, who sat impassively in a khaki prison jacket.

"The court said that because she is so dangerous there is no possibility of bail," Ahed's lawyer Gaby Lasky told reporters.

Human rights groups have criticised the minor's continued detention since her arrest on December 19, while the EU has expressed concern.

Her mother was arrested over the incident on the same day, while her cousin Nour Tamimi, 20, was arrested on December 20. Nour was released on bail on January 5.


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The incident that led to the arrests occurred in the yard of the Tamimi home in Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah. Israel's military said the soldiers were in the area to prevent Palestinians from throwing stones at Israeli motorists.

A video shows the cousins approaching two soldiers and telling them to leave before shoving, kicking and slapping them.

The scuffle took place amid clashes and protests against president Donald Trump's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Seventeen Palestinians have been killed since Mr Trump's declaration on December 6, most of them in clashes with Israeli forces. One Israeli has been shot dead since then.

Rights group Amnesty International has called on Israel to release her immediately.

"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," the London-based watchdog said.

“Israel is clearly, brazenly flouting its obligations under international law to protect children from overly harsh criminal punishments,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

“It would be an unconscionable travesty of justice if Ahed Tamimi’s act of defiance in the face of relentless oppression earns her a long prison sentence after a trial in a military court that does not ensure basic fair trial standards," said Ms Mughrabi.