Israel indicts Palestinian girl for hitting Israeli soldier

16-year-old Ahed Tamimi is being charged with assault for punching an Israeli soldier in the face.
16-year-old Ahed Tamimi is being charged with assault for punching an Israeli soldier in the face. Photo credit: Getty

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

The incident made the teenager a hero for Palestinians and was seen as humiliating by hard-line Israelis.

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 a village in the occupied West Bank.

The case has made her into a potent symbol for Palestinians but right-wing Israelis debated whether the soldier should have hit back.

The Israeli army said he "acted professionally" by showing restraint.

The charge sheet against Tamimi, included counts of aggravated assault against a soldier 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.

Qadoura Fares, chairman of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, which advocates on behalf of Palestinians in Israeli jails, said the charges were false.

Tamimi's lawyer, Gaby Lasky, said she was certain some of the charges would eventually be dismissed, but nonetheless prosecutors may seek the maximum penalty for other counts.

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

Reuters