Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi has been honored by Spanish football club Real Madrid with a real jersey on Saturday – a decision which was not welcomed by Israeli officials.
The 17-year-old activist made headlines after she was arrested in December 2017 for slapping and hitting two Israeli soldiers outside of her house in the village of Nabi Saleh in the occupied West Bank.
Tamimi and her father Basim Tamimi were invited at the side’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium in the Madrid on Saturday. Former striker Emilio Butragueno greeted her and presented a personalized football jersey to her honoring her activism.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahson called the Real Madrid’s decision to honor the activist ‘an embarrassment’ in one of his tweets.
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 lashed out the football club for an indirect encouragement of aggression by hosting Tamimi.
However, several social media users have praised the football club for its decision to host the activist.
— Satar (@Satar_Gaza) September 29, 2018
Real Madrid has not issued any official statement on the issue yet. It declined to comment on the news hen AFP contacted it.
Tamimi was released from Israeli jail in late July after serving an eight-month sentence.
In recent years, Tamimi has emerged as a symbol of Palestinian resistance against Israeli occupation. Her case brought the attention of the entire world on the issue of detention of Palestinian children by Israeli forces.