JERUSALEM — An Israeli military court has extended the detention of a Palestinian teen who was filmed kicking and slapping Israeli soldiers, footage that made her a national hero and sparked a debate in Israel about the soldiers’ refusal to respond to her blows.
Ahed Tamimi, a blonde 17-year-old from the West Bank village of Nebi Saleh, was arrested last week by Israeli troops and faces charges of attacking soldiers. The court on Monday extended Tamimi’s detention, along with those of her mother and cousin, for four days for questioning.
Tamimi was filmed earlier this month outside her family home shouting, pushing, kicking and slapping Israeli soldiers, who fended off the blows without retaliating. Her father said she was upset when she approached the soldiers over the shooting with a rubber bullet minutes earlier of her 15-year-old cousin. The military confirmed rubber bullets had been used following what it said was a violent demonstration, but had no information about who was shot.
Three days after the confrontation, amid an uproar in Israel, Tamimi was arrested from her home in a pre-dawn raid.
Palestinians are celebrating her as an icon of a new generation of resistance to Israeli occupation.
In Israel, the soldiers’ decision not to react to Tamimi’s seeming provocation has stirred a debate about deterrence, with some saying the army was humiliated.
Tamimi has made headlines in the past, including in 2015, when she bit the hand of a masked Israeli soldier who was holding her now 14-year-old brother in a chokehold during an attempted arrest. A video of the incident was widely watched, earning her an invitation to meet with the Turkish president.