Palestinians rally in support of Ahed Tamimi

Say Tamimi was merely seeking to force Israeli occupation soldiers off their land

NABI SALEH, Occupied Territories: Clashes broke out after dozens of Palestinian supporters of jailed teenager Ahed Tamimi protested near her home in the occupied West Bank on Saturday, AFP correspondents said. They were joined by Palestinians of the 1948 areas.

Tamimi, 16, was arrested on December 19, days after a video went viral showing her slapping Israeli soldiers near her home in the village of Nabi Saleh.

She was charged in a military court on January 1 with 12 counts, including assault. The army kept her in custody.

Tamimi’s mother and another relative were also charged over the same incident, with the latter released on bail until her trial in February.

Around 100 Palestinians from across the West Bank arrived to protest against Ahed Tamimi’s arrest, chanting for her release and against Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

The demonstration was attended by leaders from various Palestinian factions and Arab members of Israel’s parliament.

Tamimi’s father Bassem, himself a prominent campaigner against Israeli occupation of the West Bank, thanked participants for their “solidarity with Ahed”.

Protests erupted after the speeches, and Israeli occupation forces fired tear gas at stone-throwing youths.

Palestinians argue that Tamimi was merely seeking to force Israeli occupation soldiers off their land, and point to her subsequent night-time military arrest as evidence of abuse of a child’s rights.

The European Union expressed concern about Israel’s detention of minors, including Ahed, on Friday.

Tamimi and her mother will be in court again on Monday for a hearing on a request that they be released until their trials begin.