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Palestinian teen filmed slapping and kicking Israeli soldiers is arrested

Ahed al-Tamimi received the Handala Courage Award in 2012 for challenging the Israeli troops in her village Al-Nabi Saleh
Ahed al-Tamimi is known for confronting Israeli soldiers patrolling near her village in the occupied West Bank (twitter\@YazanSalhi)

The Israeli army arrested a 17-year-old Palestinian girl who was earlier filmed confronting and slapping two soldiers in Al-Nabi Saleh, a small village to the northwest of Ramallah city in the occupied West Bank.

Ahed Bassem al-Tamimi was seized at dawn when Israeli soldiers raided her family house and searched it, taking personal laptops, mobile phones and electronic equipment belonging to the al-Tamimi family. The family alleged the soldiers beat them during the raid.

The arrest came after a video went viral on Israeli social media, showing Ahed slapping, kicking and hitting two armed Israeli soldiers with M16 guns, helmets, and body armors. 

Translation: The moment, the 17-year-old child Ahed Al-Tamimi, slaps a zionist officer on his face.

Supposedly, the video was filmed on a mobile phone on 15 of December in front of al-Tamimi's house. It does not show any serious harm caused to the soldiers. 

The Israeli army spokesman said that the “commander acted professionally by not being dragged into violence". 

Al-Tamimi's father said the girl was reacting to the shooting of her cousin, Mohammed al-Tamimi, on 15 December, by Israeli soldiers during a protest against Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The 14-year-old boy is now in a coma.

Naftali Bennett, the Israeli education minister, told Army Radio on Tuesday morning that the two Palestinian girls involved in the fracas "should finish their lives in prison."

Bassem al-Tamimi, Ahed's father and an activist opposing the Israeli Halamish settlement in Al-Nabi Saleh, confirmed his daughter's arrest on Facebook.

The Palestinian family who fought off an Israeli soldier from arresting their boy
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"The IOF [Israeli Occupation Forces] raided my home and arrested my daughter Ahed Tamimi after the Israeli media attacked her after she stopped the soldier in front of our house when he shot a child in the head."

He added that the Israeli army "stole our phones, cameras, laptop computers and searched the house and beat my wife and children."

Mohammed al-Tamimi was shot in the head with a rubber bullet on 15 December, the family told AFP.

The 14-year-old boy, who protested against Trump's announcement of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, was placed into a medically-induced coma.

Al-Nabi Saleh is a village of 600 Palestinian inhabitants surrounded by the illegal Halamish settlement. It is known among pro-Palestinian activists for the weekly march, since 2010, against the Israeli confiscation of village lands.

In 2015, a picture of Ahed as a child biting the hand of a soldier to try to stop the arrest of her cousin Mohammed became a symbolic image. 

Ahed al-Tamimi's arrest is the latest of over 450 Palestinians detained since 6 December.

Users on social media described Ahed as brave, daring and beautiful. They circulated pictures of Ahed when she was a little girl raising a fist in front of Israeli soldiers.

Translation: Ahed al-Tamimi, a courageous Palestinian woman, was raised in a family who refused to submit to the Israeli occupation laws; her father was arrested more than nine times, her mom five times, and her brother two times. Both her uncles were martyrs.

In a short documentary, Ahed said that her dream is to become a football player, describing the difficulty she faces at the Israeli checkpoint when she wants to get to school. 

In 2012, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sat down for breakfast with Ahed who won the Turkish Handala Courage Award for challenging the Israeli troops in her village. 

Her family are prominent campaigners against the Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

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