The trial of a teenaged Palestinian girl whose assault on two Israeli soldiers gained global attention opened before an Israeli military court Tuesday, but the judge ordered the proceedings to be held behind closed doors.
Ahed Tamimi, who turned 17 in prison last month, appeared fresh and confident as she was led into a courtroom packed with journalists and foreign diplomats. She briefly acknowledged relatives attending the hearing before the judge ordered everyone except her family out of the courtroom.
After the prosecution read the 12-count indictment, the trial was adjourned until next month.
Tamimi was arrested in December after she was filmed confronting two Israeli soldiers outside her West Bank home. The video showed Tamimi kicking one soldier in the leg and slapping his face before striking the other soldier in the face.
The soldiers had deployed to the area during Palestinian protests against Israeli settlements.
Tamimi faces assault and incitement charges and could spend years in prison if convicted.
The Palestinian teenager has become the latest symbol of the long-running battle between Israelis and Palestinians over global public opinion. Her case highlights the issue of what constitutes legitimate resistance to Israeli rule over millions of Palestinians since the Jewish state’s capture of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem in 1967.