A military court on Sunday indicted Nour Tamimi, who was filmed along with her 16-year-old cousin Ahed slapping IDF soldiers outside the family’s home in Nebi Saleh earlier this month.
The 21-year-old was charged with aggravated assault of a soldier and preventing soldiers from carrying out their duties. The Military Advocate General requested that Nour remain in prison until the completion of proceedings against her.
The Ofer Military Court judge announced that a ruling would be held on the request on Monday afternoon, and extended her remand in prison by 24 hours.
On Thursday, the court had ordered she be immediately released until the completion of charges against her; but a 48-hour hold was implemented and she has remained in prison since.
Gabi Lasky, who represents Nour, Ahed and Ahed’s mother Nariman, lambasted the court for “playing along with the prosecution’s theatrics.”
She explained that the 48-hour stay was only granted so that the prosecution could have time to file an appeal, not to submit an indictment.
Moreover, Lasky said she was never notified of the prosecution’s intention to file an indictment. “They called me fifteen minutes before the start of the hearing and asked where I was,” she said.
The attorney insisted that the court had no right to file an indictment against her client without her lawyer present.
In addition to a hearing on the prosecution’s request for extended remand against Nour, the military court is also set to hold hearings where indictments are expected to be filed against Ahed and Nariman as well.
Last Thursday, the court had extended the remands of Ahed and Nour an additional five days.
Footage from the December 15 encounter in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh shows Ahed and Nour approaching two Israeli soldiers, then shoving, kicking and slapping them, while filming on their cellphones.
They then move backwards after Nariman arrives and begins pushing the soldiers, herself. The armed soldiers did not respond in the face of what appeared to be an attempt to provoke them.
Ahed, the primary suspect of the case, has been accused of “assaulting a soldier, harming the security of the area, incitement, and other felonies,” according to court documents.
In her version of the incident, shared in front of the court during a hearing last month, Ahed said that the same soldiers featured in the video had shot her cousin in the head with a rubber bullet an hour prior to the filmed encounter. “Then I saw the same soldiers who hit my cousin, this time in front of my house. I could not keep quiet and I responded as I did,” the 16-year-old testified.
Photos of Ahed’s cousin Muhammad Tamimi have been widely shared on Palestinian social media, showing the young boy’s face badly bruised and scarred. The Palestinian Ma’an news outlet had reported that he was in an induced coma due to the injuries, but has since woken up.
Nabi Saleh — 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Ramallah — has been a frequent staging ground for clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians, specifically members of the Tamimi family, which has a history of involvement in highly publicized clashes with the IDF.
In August 2015, an IDF soldier was caught on film trying to arrest Ahed’s cousin Muhammad Tamimi, who had been throwing rocks during a violent protest.
Videos of the December 15 alleged assault were widely picked up by Israeli media, which often accuse Palestinian protesters of seeking to provoke the army into responses, only to be filmed. Ahed Tamimi has also since become an icon of resistance to Palestinians.
Israeli politicians hailed the restraint of the soldiers as evidence of the military’s values, though some called for tough responses in the face of seeming humiliation.
Palestinians on social media criticized Ahed’s arrest in the middle of the night, and have asserted it is the people’s right to resist military occupation.
In 2012, Ahed gained fame among Palestinian activists for an incident in which she led a group of children, including her younger brother, in arguing with Israeli soldiers. In a video of the incident, she can be seen repeatedly raising her balled fist at a soldier, poised to hit him, but never actually doing so.
Ahed first appeared before the Ofer Military Court on December 19. Explaining her decision to remand her at the time, Judge Lidor Drachman of the Judea region Juvenile Military Court said that while Ahed Tamimi did not pose any danger, concern that the teen would try to obstruct the investigation justified keeping her locked up.
Lasky then told The Times of Israel that the military court was investigating previous altercations the teenager had had with Israeli soldiers, which also played into the decision to have her remand extended.
After having her remand extended for six days at the December 19 hearing, Ahed appeared at the Ofer Court again on Monday where a military judge further extended her time in jail to Thursday. Judge Haim Balilty reasoned that the investigators needed more time to complete their probe against the 16-year-old without worrying over whether she might obstruct the case.
The court then also extended the remands of Ahed’s cousin Nour and mother Nariman until Thursday for similar reasons.