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Palestinian teen “hero” faces trial for slapping soldier in Israel

To some, she is viewed as a modern Joan of Arc; to others she is known as ʺShirley Temper.ʺ

by Lauren Prince
Feb 13 2018, 4:53pm

A Palestinian teen who has been touted as a hero for the resistance against Israel’s occupation of the West Bank appeared in Israeli court Tuesday, facing charges of aggravated assault and incitement.

Ahed Tamimi, who's been in the custody of the Israeli military for two months, rose to fame in December after a video was streamed live on Facebook, showing her kicking and slapping two Israeli soldiers.

Posters of the teen have been put up around the West Bank. To some, the videos paint Tamimi as a modern-day Joan of Arc. Others have nicknamed her "Shirley Temper," a child cast in a role in Palestinian propaganda.

Tamimi’s protests have drawn attention before. At age 11, she was photographed shaking her fist at Israeli troops. A year later, she was filmed biting a soldier who was trying to detain her brother for throwing rocks.

It is unclear what led Tamimi to strike the Israeli soldier. Some members of her family say that Tamimi hit the soldier she believed had shot her cousin point blank in the head last December with a rubber-coated bullet. But her father says she didn’t have to be provoked.

Tamimi turned 17-years-old while she awaited trial. She's been charged with 12 separate counts, including aggravated assault. It's unclear how much jail time she could face. Her family celebrated in her absence and invited VICE News into their home to talk about what she represents.

This segment originally aired Feb. 12, 2018, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.