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Israeli court detains 'slap video' Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamini until trial

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Israeli court detains 'slap video' Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamini until trial

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An Israeli military court on Wednesday decided to keep teenager Ahed Tamimi, who has become an icon of the opposition to the Israeli occupation, to be held in custody until her trial.

A military judge's decision in Ofer prison in the occupied West Bank means that the 16-year-old girl, who was arrested in December following a viral video showing her hitting soldiers, will remain in detention until her trial starts on January 31st.

"The evidence is strong against her," said the judge, who considers her to be "dangerous" and the author of an "ideological crime."

Her charges include assault after she was filmed punching the soldier at the entrance to her family home in a village in the occupied West Bank. The confrontation took place after what Israel says was a stone-throwing assault on its troops.

The case has made her into such a symbol for Palestinians that a commentator in Israeli left-wing newspaper Haaretz said Israel risked turning her into the “Palestinian Joan of Arc”.

Right-wing Israelis, meanwhile, have debated whether the soldier had appeared weak by opting not to strike back. The Israeli army said he “acted professionally” by showing restraint.

Former Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren, who is now a Knesset member accused the Tamimi family of using their children as "pawns" in a propaganda war.

The charge sheet against Tamimi, seen by Reuters, included counts of aggravated assault against a soldier, who the army said was bruised on his brow by her punch, obstructing a soldier in the performance of his duty and throwing stones at troops.

“Tamimi threw stones at them (the soldiers), threatened them, obstructed them in fulfilling their duty, took part in riots and incited others to take part in them,” the military said on its public affairs Twitter account.

An adult found guilty of assaulting a soldier could be jailed for up to 10 years, but such an outcome would be unlikely for Tamimi as a minor.

The UN children's agency UNICEF condemns Israel's detention of minors such as Ahed Tamimi, considering sixteeen and seventeen year olds to be children.

Tamimi’s father is a prominent Palestinian activist and 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 its president, Tayyip Erdogan, after images of her confronting an Israeli soldier went viral.