Spanish football club Real Madrid honored Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi on Saturday after being released from Israeli prison. The activist is currently in Europe for attending a series of political events.
Tamimi and her father Basim Tamimi were hosted at the side’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium in the Spanish capital on Saturday, where she was greeted by former striker Emilio Butragueno and presented with a personalised football jersey, AlJazeera reported.
Tamimi, a 17 year old was arrested last December after a video of her slapping and hitting two Israeli soldiers outside of her house in the village of Nabi Saleh in the occupied West Bank went viral.
Tamimi has been considered as a icon and a symbol of Palestinian resistance against Israeli occupation. Her case brought to light the issue of detention of children by Israeli forces amid the decade long occupation in Gaza.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahson lashed out at Real Madrid’s decision to host the teenager on Twitter, calling it “an embarrassment”.
“Real Madrid hosts a terrorist who incites hate and violence. What does that have to do with football values!??! [Angry emoji],” he said.
Una verguenza! El Real Madrid recibe a una terrorista que incita al odio y a la violencia. Que tiene eso que ver con los valores del futból?!?! 😡@IsraelMFA @IsraelinSpain @realmadriden https://t.co/OmpIeQ9hgk
— Emmanuel Nahshon (@EmmanuelNahshon) September 29, 2018
Israel’s ambassador to Spain Daniel Kutner also blasted the football club, calling their reception of Tamimi an indirect encouragement of aggression.
“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. Today I won’t go to Bernabeu [stadium],” he said on Twitter.
— Satar (@Satar_Gaza) September 29, 2018