Israel Indicts Palestinian Teen Who Punched Soldier

OFER PRISON (Reuters) -

Israel indicted a 16-year-old Palestinian girl on Monday on charges including assault for punching an Israeli soldier in the face two weeks ago.

Israel has held Ahed Tamimi since arresting her three days after she was filmed punching the soldier at the entrance to her family home in the village of Nabi Saleh. The confrontation took place after a stone-throwing assault on its troops.

The widely-publicized case has become a cause celebre among Palestinians who view her as a hero. Her cousin Nur, 21, was indicted for similar behavior in the same incident.

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.

Tamimi was not asked to enter a plea at this stage. The military court gave her lawyer more time to study the charges.

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.

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.