Real Madrid Soccer Club Hosts Teen Palestinian Activist Ahed Tamimi

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Just hours before the match, Spanish soccer club Real Madrid took some time out to honor the teenage Palestinian icon, Ahed al-Tamimi, who spent eight months in an Israeli prison.

 

 

A couple of months ago, Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi, who became a symbol of resistance against Israeli military occupation, was finally released by the Israeli authorities after spending eight months in a military prison.

Tamimi, who upon her release was welcomed by a crowd of emotional supporters, was recently honored by Spanish soccer club Real Madrid after being invited to visit the team’s home stadium, Santiago Bernabeu.

Just hours before the anticipated match between the club and Atletico Madrid, Tamimi met with Emilio Butragenio, a former striker who currently serves as one of the club’s senior managers, and was given a personalized football jersey.

The young activist, accompanied by her father, is currently in Europe to attend a series of political events.

The 17-year-old, dubbed by many as the Wonder Woman of Palestine, was arrested in December 2017 for slapping Israeli soldiers who had raided her home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh and allegedly shot her cousin in the face with a rubber bullet.

Her arrest sparked global outrage with people all across the world protesting her detainment and demanding to know since when has protecting one’s home against occupying forces become a crime?

Following her release, Tamimi has continued to push for Palestinian freedom and also revealed harrowing details of her detention. Her lawyer alleged she was interrogated by two male Israeli soldiers without the presence of a female officer.

However, for obvious reasons, the Israeli authorities weren’t too happy about the Real Madrid's decision to host the teenager.

In response to Tamimi being honored by the team, Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahson took to Twitter to express his disappointment with the event.

 

Similarly, Daniel Kutner, the Israeli ambassador to Spain, declared he would not be "going to the Bernabeu today.”

“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,” Kutner wrote on Twitter.

On the other hand, many football fans and advocates of Palestinian rights took to social media to commend the heartwarming move of the 13-time European champions.

 

 

 

It’s important to mention that Tamimi’s trip to Europe, which has already started to cause some stir among the Israeli authorities, was put into doubt earlier this month when it was reported the teen was banned from travelling abroad.

Her father, Basim Tamimi, said the Palestinian officials had informed the family that Israel wanted to keep her from traveling to foreign countries and speaking on the Palestinian cause for freedom.

Nevertheless, the 17-year-old who refused to be Israel’s compliant Palestinian, is determined to use the global attention to reveal the plight of Palestinians in Israeli prisons and continue her struggle for freedom.

Banner / Thumbnail : Photo by Juan Carlos Lucas/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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