Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi, whose arrest last year drew international condemnation, has been honored by Spanish football club Real Madrid after she was released from Israeli prison.
The 17-year-old was arrested in December 2017 after a video of her slapping and hitting two Israeli soldiers outside of her house in the village of Nabi Saleh in the occupied West Bank went viral.
? Real Madrid welcomed Palestinian teenage activist Ahed Tamimi to the Santiago Bernabeu yesterday after spending eight months in prison for slapping an Israeli soldier in December 2017. pic.twitter.com/YhHgC8LkjW
— RMadridHome (@RMadridHome_) September 29, 2018
Tamimi and her father Basim Tamimi were hosted at the side’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium in the Spanish capital on Saturday, where she was greeted by former striker Emilio Butragueno and presented with a personalized football jersey.
The 17-year-old activist is currently in Europe for a series of political events.
She was released from prison in late July after being sentenced to eight months behind bars for an altercation with Israeli soldiers in front of her house.
I spoke to Ahed Tamimi in her first sit-down interview out of Israeli prison. She talked about why she slapped the soldier, the night of her arrest and interrogation, life behind bars, and her dreams for the future. My most memorable interview to date pic.twitter.com/sgLVLR16Gn
— Dena Takruri (@Dena) August 1, 2018
She has emerged as a symbol of Palestinian resistance against Israeli occupation.
Her case has brought global attention to the issue of detention of Palestinian children by Israeli forces. Writing for Al Jazeera, Palestinian author Ramzy Baroud said Tamimi is “an icon of a rebellious young generation of Palestinians”.
How many more children from the Tamimi family is Israel going to arrest? pic.twitter.com/QqiXK3WMiN
— AJ+ (@ajplus) January 17, 2018
He wrote last month:
“After spending eight months in jail for confronting Israeli occupation soldiers in her backyard, Ahed emerged even stronger and more determined to convey the pains and struggles of her people to the world.”
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) August 23, 2018
Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahson lashed out at Real Madrid’s decision to host the teenager on Twitter, calling it “an embarrassment”.
“Real Madrid hosts a terrorist who incites hate and violence. What does that have to do with football values!??! [Angry emoji].”
— #BDS #Apartheid #Israel (@BuzBuz) September 30, 2018
Israel’s ambassador to Spain Daniel Kutner also blasted the football club, calling their reception of Tamimi an indirect encouragement of aggression.
El embajador de #Israel en España, Daniel Kutner, ha enviado a Manuela Carmena una carta para expresar su malestar por recibir en el Ayuntamiento de @MADRID a la activista palestina @AhedTamimi5. https://t.co/XycsMGJmMg
— Madridiario.es (@Madridiario) September 30, 2018
He said on Twitter:
“Ahed Tamimi does not fight for peace, she defends violence and terror, the institutions that have received and celebrated her indirectly encourage aggression and not the dialogue and understanding that we need. Today I won’t go to Bernabeu [stadium].”
Others celebrated Real Madrid’s decision to host the activist.
(AJE, PC, Social Media)