(RAMALLAH, West Bank) — An Israeli military court indicted a teenage Palestinian girl on Monday who was filmed last month in the West Bank slapping Israeli troops who refused to respond.
Palestinians have since hailed Ahed Tamimi, 16, as an icon in their fight against Israel. In Israel, the footage sparked debate about the soldiers’ refusal to react.
The court indicted Tamimi on several accounts including attacking soldiers as well as for previous altercations with Israeli forces. It extended her remand for eight days.
She was filmed in December outside her family home, pushing, kicking and slapping the soldiers, who fended off the blows without retaliating. Her father Bassem has said she was upset when she approached the soldiers after her 15-year-old cousin had been shot with a rubber bullet. The military confirmed rubber bullets had been used following what it said was a violent demonstration, but had no information about who was shot.
Bassem called Monday’s indictment a “political trial” saying Israel dug up old incidents as well as the one filmed in order to “justify her arrest.”
Tamimi was arrested at her home in a pre-dawn raid three days after the confrontation, amid an uproar in Israel.
Tamimi has made headlines in the past, most famously in 2015 when she bit a soldier’s hand as he held her brother in a chokehold in an attempted arrest.
She is from Nebi Saleh, a village of about 600 people, most of them members of Tamimi’s extended family. For eight years, villagers along with Israeli and foreign activists have protested weekly against Israeli policies in the West Bank.