Ahed Tamimi appears at a military court at the Israeli-run Ofer prison in the West Bank village of Betunia on December 20, 2017..
(photo credit: AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas praised the family of a Palestinian girl who was jailed after smacking IDF soldiers. He pointed to their role in “peaceful” marches held for years in their village near Ramallah, the official PA news site Wafa reported.
The Tamimi family is well known in Nabi Salih for participating in protests against Israel’s military rule.
After a video of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi slapping soldiers went viral on December 15, the teenager was arrested on December 19 at her family home.
On Monday, a military court extended her remand for four days. According to court documents, she has been accused of attacking a solider, harming security of the area, incitement and other crimes.
“His excellency [Abbas] checked on the health and morale of the prisoner Ahed, praising her and her family, which is always present at peaceful marches in their village, Nabi Salih,” the Wafa report said of the phone call between the Palestinian Authority president and Bassam Tamimi, Ahed’s father.
IDF arrests Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi (credit: IDF Spokesperson)
The younger Tamimi has been widely praised on social media for slapping the soldiers, with a number of Palestinians comparing her to Joan of Arc, a 15th-century French war heroine.
Meanwhile, multiple Israeli politicians have condemned Ahed for her actions, demanding that she be punished. Education Minister Naftali Bennett told Army Radio the young girl should finish her life in prison.
In her testimony, Ahed argued that she slapped the soldiers because they had shot one of her cousins with a rubber bullet. “Then I saw the same soldiers who hit my cousin, this time in front of my house. I could not keep quiet and I responded as I did,” she said in court last week.
An IDF spokesman confirmed that rubber bullets were used in Nabi Salih the day the slapping incident took place, but said he had no details about who was shot.