TEL AVIV — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday praised the Tamimi family, a member of which slapped an IDF soldier last week.
Two weeks ago, Ahed Tamimi, 17, slapped an IDF soldier across the face. The girl was arrested a few days later for attacking an IDF soldier.
According to a report by the Jerusalem Post, Abbas praised the Tamimis for their role in “peaceful” marches that have been held for years in the village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah.
The family has become well known for its clever use of the media in its actions against Israel and the IDF.
The clip showing Tamimi slapping the soldier went viral on December 15, and on December 19 the girl was detained at her family home.
Earlier this week, a military court extended her remand by four days. Tamimi is expected to be released on Friday. The girl has been accused of attacking a solider, harming the security of the area, incitement and additional offenses.
“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,” a report by the Palestinian Wafa news agency said of the phone call between the PA president and Ahed Tamimi’s father Bassam.
Ahed Tamimi was widely praised on social media for slapping the soldiers. According to the Jerusalem Post, some Palestinians compared the girl to Joan of Arc, a 15th century French war heroine.
However, other commentators on Arab social media praised the Israeli soldier’s lack of response, saying that if Tamimi would have slapped a soldier from the army of any Arab nation, she would not be treated with such tolerance.
In her testimony at a military court on Monday, Ahed said that she slapped the soldiers because they had earlier shot a rubber bullet at one of her cousins. “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.
According to the army, soldiers did indeed use rubber bullets in Nabi Saleh on the December 15, but the IDF spokesperson had no details about who was shot.