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Israel postpones trial of female Palestinian teenager

People protest against the detention of Ahed Tamimi, a 16-year-old Palestinian girl, in an Israeli jail, Penn Station, New York, January 30, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

The military trial of a teenage Palestinian girl charged with punching two Israeli soldiers has been postponed, for the second time, until February 13.

Gaby Lasky, Ahed Tamimi’s lawyer, announced the news on Sunday.

Tamimi, 17, had been due to stand trial on January 31 along with her mother, Nariman, before the case was for the first time postponed until February 6.

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

Ahed has been charged with 12 counts and could face a lengthy jail term if convicted.

Ahed’s 20-year-old cousin Nour has also been charged and freed on bail. Her next court date has also been set for February 13.

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has criticized the handling of the case by Israeli authorities.

The European Union has expressed concern about the detention of Palestinian minors in Israeli jails, including the teenage girl.

Qadoura Fares, chairman of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, earlier said the charges were false. "Their aim is to terrorize people, and they are trying to deter children and others."

Tamimi became the latest face of Palestinian resistance when footage emerged in mid-December of her slapping a fully-armed Israeli officer and then another one in the face during a protest in her home village of Nabi Saleh, near the Palestinian city of Ramallah. Israeli forces had earlier shot her cousin in the face.

Faced with embarrassment, Israeli authorities decided to arrest Ahed. Amazingly, according to some accounts, 20 Israeli Jeeps went to take her into custody.

Footage appeared later of her ransacked room, with her belongings strewn across the room, her bed mattress overturned, and her closets emptied on the floor. In the footage, a window can be seen with what seems to be a bullet hole.

Ahed was arrested along with her mother, who has been nabbed five times before, one of which was for filming her children and other youths protesting against Israel.

Ahed Tamimi, who was 16 at the time of her arrest, has been hailed as a hero by Palestinians. She is now known for her courage in the face of Israeli forces.

Since young age, Ahed has been filmed and photographed audaciously confronting Israeli forces. In one video, Ahed and her parents speak of their desire for freedom from occupation and "injustice."

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