Sixteen-year-old Ahed Tamimi, who has been detained after a video showing her slapping Israeli soldiers went viral, will appear in court on February 6. Officials say it was postponed at the request of her lawyer.

This January 17, 2018 photo shows Ahed Tamimi appearing in court at Ofer Military Court in Ramallah, West Bank.
This January 17, 2018 photo shows Ahed Tamimi appearing in court at Ofer Military Court in Ramallah, West Bank. (AA)

The start of a military trial for a Palestinian teenager arrested after a viral video showed her slapping two Israeli security forces has been delayed until February 6, her lawyer said on Tuesday.

The trial of Ahed Tamimi, 16, had been set to begin on Wednesday.

Her mother Nariman will also go on trial on the same day, their lawyer Gaby Lasky said.

The Israeli military confirmed the date had been changed to February 6, adding it was postponed at Lasky's request.

Both Ahed Tamimi and her mother have been ordered to be held in custody throughout their trial.

Ahed Tamimi's cousin Nour Tamimi, 20, has also been charged in connection with the case, but has been freed on bail. Lasky said she will also join the others on trial.

Arrest of minors

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has criticised the action of the Israeli authorities in the case, while the European Union has expressed concern over Israel's detention of minors, including Ahed Tamimi.

Ahed Tamimi has been hailed as a hero by Palestinians who see her as bravely standing up to Israel's occupation of the West Bank.

Israelis accuse her family of using her as a pawn in staged provocations.

She has been charged with 12 counts, including assault, and could face a lengthy jail term if convicted.

The charges relate to events in the video and five other incidents. They include stone-throwing, incitement and making threats.

Ahed Tamimi's family says the December 15 incident that led to the arrests occurred in the yard of their home in Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah in the West Bank.

Israel's military said the soldiers were in the area to prevent Palestinians from throwing stones at Israeli motorists.

Icon for Palestinians

A video showed the cousins approaching two soldiers and telling them to leave before shoving, kicking and slapping them.

Ahed Tamimi was the more aggressive of the two in the video.

The heavily armed soldiers did not respond to what they said was an attempt to provoke, rather than seriously harm them.

They then moved backwards after Nariman Tamimi became involved.

The scuffle took place amid clashes and protests against US President Donald Trump's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Relatives said that a member of the Tamimi family was wounded in the head by a rubber bullet fired during those protests.

Eighteen Palestinians have been killed since Trump's declaration on December 6, most of them in clashes with Israeli security forces. One Israeli has been shot dead since then.

Ahed Tamimi has been involved in a series of previous incidents, with other pictures of her confronting soldiers being widely published.

In 2012, Istanbul’s Basaksehir Municipality granted her the prestigious Hanzala Courage Award for defying Israeli soldiers who had just arrested her brother.

At the time, Turkish Prime Minister (now president) Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Tamimi personally to convey his admiration for her bravery. 

She has become something of an icon for Palestinians who have flooded social media with praise and support for her.

Source: AFP