Trial of Palestinian girl who slapped Israeli soldiers begins

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Tamimi is to go on trial Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, before an Israeli military court, for slapping and punching two Israeli soldiers in December.

He said the move was meant to protect Ahed's privacy as a minor, but it came despite the fact that the teenager's lawyer, Gaby Lasky, said her client was willing to waive this right.

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

"They understand that people outside Ofer military court are interested in Ahed's case, they understand that her rights are being infringed and her trial is something that shouldn't be happening", Tamimi's lawyer Gaby Lasky told journalists after having unsuccessfully objected to the judge's decision to close the trial.

On Monday, Amnesty International called for Tamimi's release and accused the Tel Aviv regime of discriminatory treatment of Palestinian children.

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Both mother and her minor daughter are being held in prison.

Seventeen-year-old Tamimi faces 12 charges, including assault and incitement, at the Ofer Military Court. Her 28-year-old cousin died after being hit by a tear-gas canister a year earlier, he says.

A few days later, Ms Tamimi was arrested in a night-time raid and has since been denied bail.

The video was recorded after Tamimi found out Israeli Defense Forces shot her cousin in the face with a rubber bullet, giving the boy severe wounds.

Israel's Education Minister Naftali Bennett also said Ahed and Nour Tamimi deserved to "finish their lives in prison".

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Israel's full-throttle prosecution of one of an estimated 300 Palestinian minors in Israeli jails, and a senior Israeli official's recent revelation that he once had parliament investigate whether the blonde, blue-eyed Tamimis are a "real" Palestinian family, have helped stoke interest in the case.

Tamimi has been in detention in Israel since her arrest at her home in December where she was filmed physically confronting Israel soldiers at her family's property in Nabi Salah in the Israel-occupied West Bank.

An Israeli poet named Yehonatan Geffen dedicated a poem to Ahed, in which he compared her to Anne Frank, famous diarist and Jewish victim of the Holocaust as well as to Joan of Arc, a historical heroine of French revolution against British rule.

Although no one was seriously hurt, the Israeli military, her lawyer says, is keen to make an example of her to deter other young Palestinians from fighting back against the Israeli occupation.

He stressed that bilateral talks have focused on the repercussions of the United States announcement, the global reactions to it and the Palestinian efforts to counter this decision at the diplomatic, political and legal levels.

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Regrettably, Tamimi's is not an isolated case, since statistics show that Israel stops and processes 500 to 700 Palestinian children annually in military courts, United Nations experts warned.

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