The 17-year-old Palestinian icon, Ahed al-Tamimi, who was imprisoned for eight months in an Israeli prison, was honoured by the Spanish soccer club Real Madrid, on Saturday, after being invited to visit the team’s home stadium.
Ahed arrived at Real Madrid’s home field of Santiago Bernabeu hours before the anticipated derby match between the club and Atletico Madrid.While at the stadium, Ahed met with Emilio Butragenio, a former striker for Real Madrid who currently serves as one of the club’s senior managers, and was handed a team jersey with her name and number nine printed on its back. She was accompanied by her father, Basem al-Tamimi, during her trip to Spain, where she attended several political events to discuss the Palestinian resistance movement and the experience during her eight-month imprisonment by Israel.
In response to Real Madrid honouring Ahed, the Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, Emanuel Nachshon, tweeted on his Twitter account that the incident was “shameful” and a “disgrace to the sport’s values.”Nachson’s tweet read “What a shame, Real Madrid accepts a terrorist that incites to hatred and violence, what is the connection between this and soccer values?”
Additionally, Israel’s ambassador to Spain, Daniel Kutner, tweeted on his Twitter saying “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.”
Ahed was detained on December 19, 2017 after a video went viral on social media platforms, showing Ahed slapping and kicking an armed Israeli soldier, who raided her hometown and shot her 15-year-old cousin Muhammad in the face, in the Nabi Saleh village in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah.
Since her detention, Ahed has received worldwide media coverage and has become the image of dozens of solidarity campaigns across the world demanding her release from Israeli prison, and an end to Israeli detention of Palestinian children.