Palestinian govt slams Israeli intention to "annex" settlements in West Bank

Palestinian govt slams Israeli intention to

A trial began in military court for the Palestinian teen arrested in part for slapping and harassing Israeli soldiers standing guard in a West Bank Palestinian village.

The closely watched trial of a Palestinian girl for slapping and punching two Israeli soldiers opened before an Israeli military court in the West Bank on Tuesday, but the judge ordered all proceedings to be held behind closed doors in a case that has drawn wide criticism of Israel for prosecuting the teenager. Her 20-year-old cousin Nur Tamimi and mother, who were also in the video, were both later arrested and are also facing charges.

Haaretz commentator Anshel Pfeffer praised the judge's order as a "stroke of genius" that would "prevent the court from becoming a media circus and providing Tamimi, her family, lawyers and activists with a convenient opportunity to put the occupation on trial".

Ms Tamimi is from the West Bank town of Nabi Saleh, where more than 600 members of her extended family live. He says if the trial raises her profile, it's a price that needs to be paid.

Earlier in the day, Tamimi's father told The Associated Press as he headed into the court that he came "with no good expectations, because this a military court, and it's part of the Israeli military occupation". "The way to keep it out of everybody's eyes is to close doors and not allow people inside the court for the hearing".

On 15 December 2017, 15-year-old Mohammad Tamimi was shot in the face by an Israeli soldier while participating in an unarmed protest of Donald Trump's Jerusalem declaration.

Videos of the incident shared on social media showed dozens of Palestinians encircling the vehicle and pelting it with rocks and chairs.

Another generation of Palestinians seems locked in a cycle of protests and arrests by Israel, three decades after Palestinians staged their first uprising, throwing stones and burning tires in the streets.

Prosecutors requested more time to prepare a response and a new date was set for March 11, according to Lasky.

Ahed Tamimi and her mother have been ordered held in custody until the end of the proceedings, while her cousin has been released on bail.

Twenty-three Palestinians have been killed since Trump's declaration on December 6, majority in clashes with Israeli forces.

In a statement published Monday, prominent Black public figures call on United States lawmakers to endorse a bill that would prohibit United States aid to Israel being used for the military detention, torture and abuse of Palestinian children.

The Palestinians walked away in December from US-led attempts to revive the peace talks when Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The soldiers can be heard in the videos screaming as the Palestinians assailed them, pulling the hair of the female soldier and grabbing her weapon.

Only Ahed's family and lawyers were allowed to stay. In it, the soldiers don't appear to react to Tamimi's confrontation. "We then put the soldiers in one of our police cars and brought them to the Israeli authorities in the Civil Administration", he said. Ahed has also been often called "iconic" because her story, now and before, is so emblematic of the extraordinary perseverance of the Palestinian people who having endured fifty years of occupation, and seventy years since the mass dispossession of 1948 known to Palestinians as the Nakba.

Her family says letters of messages of support have flooded in from the region and the world.

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