A 16-year-old Palestinian, arrested for hitting and kicking Israeli soldiers, will remain in detention until the end of her trial for alleged assault, an Israeli military court ruled on Wednesday.
The two soldiers Ahed Tamimi attacked wore helmets and combat gear and tried to deflect her blows, but remained largely passive during the incident, which occurred in the midst of a violent demonstration against Israeli policies in Yehudah and Shomron.
Charges filed on Jan. 1 against Tamimi included aggravated assault, rock-throwing, incitement and participation in “violent riots.” No plea was entered at the hearing.
Calling for Tamimi’s release, Amnesty International said on Monday that nothing Tamimi had done against armed soldiers wearing protective gear “can justify the continuing detention of a 16-year-old girl.”
But the court accepted the argument of the IDF Prosecution that Tamimi has “a pattern of lawbreaking” which justified keeping her in detention until the end of her trial.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Twitter: “We welcome the decision to keep the terrorist Ahad Tamimi in custody until the end of the proceedings. Our message is clear, Israel won’t allow harm to IDF soldiers and anyone who tries to hurt will pay a heavy price.”
Tamimi has been accorded heroic status in the Palestinian media, with help from such left-wing news outlets as Haaretz, depicting her as a brave freedom fighter.
The chase has attracted such attention that dozens of media outlets in Hebrew, Arabic and English as well as diplomats from several European countries attended her hearing, which was standing-room only.
An adult found guilty of assaulting a soldier could be jailed for up to 10 years, but such an outcome would be unlikely for a minor.