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Middle East Israeli military to begin trial of Ahed Tamimi

PALESTINIAN teen Ahed Tamimi will be put on trial tomorrow by the Israeli military for slapping two soldiers who had grievously wounded her 15-year-old cousin by shooting him in the face at close range with a rubber-coated steel bullet.

Ms Tamimi turned 17 in prison last month and is one of 300 Palestinian minors jailed illegally in Israel by the occupation forces.

Israel’s army has charged her with assault and incitement and she could face years in prison if convicted by a military judge.

Her mother Nariman is also locked up and awaiting trial. She was arrested when she went to the Israeli prison where Ahed was being held after being kidnapped in a night raid on their home in Nabi Salah village.

Residents of Nabi Salah have staged regular protests against the occupation since 2009, when an illegal Israeli settlement seized control of their water supply.

Ahead of the trial, vicious Hebrew graffiti has been written in the village with messages calling for Ms Tamimi to be executed and including one warning: “Greetings from the retaliation branch of the IDF.”

And Israeli Deputy Minister Michael Oren has even admitted that he had commissioned parliamentary investigators two years ago to find out if the blond-haired and blue-eyed family were “really” Palestinians.

Ahed’s father Bassem said he “burst out laughing” at the claim.

Mr Tamimi said that he expected the military court to deal harshly with his daughter and that she might remain behind bars for some time.

However, he said that he was optimistic heading into the courtroom and believes he is witnessing progress.

He argues that his daughter’s case and the outpouring of support for her — more than 1.7 million people have already signed an online petition calling for her release — signal the beginning of the final chapter of Israel’s illegal 51-year occupation.

“I see that we are starting the turning point in our history, to deal with our occupier and colonisation in a different way,” said Mr Tamimi. “Yes, there is a price [to pay] … but this generation Ahed represents will be the generation of freedom.”

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