Israel Charges 16-Year-Old Filmed Slapping Soldier
Palestinian girl's father says it's a 'political trial'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2018 2:32 AM CST

(Newser) – A 16-year-old girl hailed as a hero by Palestinians for slapping and pushing Israeli soldiers was indicted Monday on 12 charges, including aggravated assault. In a Dec. 15 video that went viral, Ahed Tamimi; her mother, Nariman Tamimi; and 21-year-old cousin Nur Tamimi confronted the soldiers outside their family home in a West Bank village, the Guardian reports. The soldiers didn't respond to the punches, kicks, and slaps. Ahed Tamimi has been in custody since three days after the incident, and her father, Bassem Tamimi, called Monday's court proceedings a "political trial." He says she confronted the soldiers because she was upset after her 15-year-old cousin was hit by a rubber bullet.

The teenager, whose mother and cousin were also arrested, has been a familiar face at West Bank protests for years, and her arrest has sparked debate about the role of minors in Palestinian demonstrations, the AP reports. A commenter in Israel's Haaretz newspaper said that with the arrest, Israeli authorities risked turning her into a "Palestinian Joan of Arc," while hard-line Israelis say the soldier she slapped should have struck back, Reuters notes. Ahed was also charged with incitement for saying she hopes "everyone will participate" in protests against the Israeli occupation.

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