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The case of Ahed al-Tamimi, who turned 17 in prison last month, gained worldwide media attention and she has become something of a symbol to supporters of Palestine.

Tamimi's lawyer Gaby Lasky criticized the judge for shutting the media and members of the public out of the trial. She briefly whispered to relatives in the back of the room before the judge ordered everyone except her family out. Family members could stay, but diplomats and journalists were asked to leave. Ahed Tamimi is shown on November 20, 2012, crying at the funeral of a relative killed during a clash with the Israeli army.

Haaretz commentator Anshel Pfeffer praised the judge's order as a "stroke of genius" that would "prevent the court from becoming a media circus and providing Tamimi, her family, lawyers and activists with a convenient opportunity to put the occupation on trial". Some Israelis have accused her of courting publicity and being a troublemaker. She said she is still waiting to receive case material from the prosecutor, that her client did not enter a plea and that the next hearing would be March 11.

If convicted, she could face a lengthy jail term.

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"We believe that this is an indictment exclusively created in order to deter Ahed and other Palestinian youth to resist occupation the way she has done", Tamimi's lawyer Gaby Lasky told reporters after the hearing.

None of the facts of this case would appear to justify her ongoing detention prior to her trial, particularly given the concerns expressed by the Committee on the Rights of the Child about the use of pre-trial detention and detention on remand.

"The Israeli military supposes by arresting Ahed Tamimi they can silence their activism", said Fadi Quran, a senior campaigner with the activist group Avaaz.

Speaking to RT's "Going Underground" in January, Ahed's father, Bassem Tamimi, said: "I am a father". "The way to keep it out of everybody's eyes is to close doors and not allow people inside the court for the hearing".

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However, video footage of the altercation shows that the then 16-year-old was simply yelling at, hitting and later slapping two Israeli soldiers away from the area after one of them had shoved her.

She has been hailed as a heroine by many Palestinians for bravely standing up to the Israeli military aggression and recognized as a symbol of the Palestinian resistance against the Israeli occupation.

The incident was streamed live on Facebook by her mother and went viral. However she also faces five additional counts of violence and incitement, including stone throwing, taking part in violent protests and incitement to violent action.

The video was reportedly filmed on a mobile phone on 15 December in front of al-Tamimi's house.

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A graphic video of the incident shows the two soldiers - one male and one female - inside the vehicle as a large group of Palestinians surrounds it, shouting.


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