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Trial begins for Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi, accused of slapping Israeli soldier

February 13, 2018 9:13 AM
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Trial begins for Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi, accused of slapping Israeli soldier

Military judge said Tuesday the trial will be closed to the media 'for the protection of the minor'

Palestinian protest icon Ahed Tamimi is to go on trial before an Israeli military court for slapping and punching two Israeli soldiers in December in a case that has drawn wide criticism of Israel for prosecuting the teenager.

It has also underscored what Palestinians say constitutes legitimate resistance to Israel's rule, now in its 51st year after Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem in 1967.

Israel has treated Tamimi's actions as a criminal offence, indicting her on charges of assault and incitement that could potentially lead to years in prison.

The Israeli military judge overseeing the trial on Tuesday ordered all proceedings to take place behind closed doors.

Also read: Gaza officials say Israeli fire kills woman at protest

The judge quickly ushered out reporters, saying the trial would be closed "for the protection of the minor." Her lawyer, Gaby Lasky, objected.

Tamimi, who has been incarcerated for nearly two months, appeared to be in good spirits as she entered and whispered across the courtroom to her family.

He told the Associated Press earlier in the day that he came to court "with no good expectations, because this a military court, and it's part of the Israeli military occupation."

The Dec. 15 confrontation took place after what Israel says was a stone-throwing assault on its troops and was widely circulated on social media. International rights groups have called for charges to be dropped.

Tamimi's family previously filmed other confrontations with soldiers. Tamimi made news two years ago when she was pictured biting a soldier who tried to arrest her younger brother.

In 2012, she was presented with an award in Turkey and met President Tayyip Erdogan after images of her confronting an Israeli soldier went viral.

Also read: EU’s top soldier: much expectation of what EU can do


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