Tel Aviv - A 16-year-old Palestinian girl who gained international attention after she was arrested for slapping Israeli soldiers in a viral video will remain in Israeli detention until the end of her trial, a military court judge said on Wednesday.
According to Human Rights Watch, the trial of Ahed Tamimi could take months, as the military prosecution plans to summon 18 witnesses.
In a video that was widely shared on social media, Tamimi is seen slapping and hitting two Israeli soldiers after a December 15 protest in her West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.
The teen is now facing 12 criminal charges, including assault and incitement, stemming from the video and prior incidents.
For many Palestinians, Tamimi is a defiant icon who stands up to the Israeli occupation at weekly protests in Nabi Saleh, while Israeli politicians condemn the girl as a violent provocateur.
More than 300 Palestinian minors are being held in Israeli prisons, according to B'tselem, an Israeli NGO that alleges rights violations against Palestinians.
Tamimi's case has placed increased scrutiny on Israel's military court system.
Along with assault, the Israeli military prosecution has indicted Tamimi for statements she made in the December video, in which she appears to support stabbings, rock throwing, and "martyrdom operations" - an apparent reference to suicide bombings.
The Tamimi family, which has hundreds of members, has staged weekly demonstrations in Nabi Saleh since 2009, after the army restricted Palestinian access to nearby lands.
Members of the Tamimi family have died and been arrested in protests. Israeli commentators accuse them of placing minors in harm's way.
DPA and AP