Clashes broke out after dozens of Palestinian and Arab Israeli supporters of jailed teenager Ahed Tamimi protested near her home in the occupied West Bank on Saturday, AFP correspondents said.
Tamimi, 16, was arrested on Dec. 19, days after a video went viral showing her slapping Israeli soldiers near her home in the village of Nabi Saleh in an apparent attempt to provoke them. She was charged in a military court on Jan. 1 with 12 counts, including assault. The army held her in custody.
Tamimi's mother and another relative were also charged over the same incident, with the latter released on bail until her trial in February.
Some 100 Palestinians from across the West Bank arrived to protest against Ahed Tamimi's arrest, chanting for her release and against Israel's occupation of the West Bank. The demonstration was attended by leaders from various Palestinian factions and Israeli Arab members of Israel's parliament.
Tamimi's father Bassem, himself a prominent campaigner against Israeli occupation of the West Bank, thanked participants for their "solidarity with Ahed."
Protests erupted after the speeches, and Israeli forces fired tear gas at stone-throwing youths.
A spokeswoman for the Israeli army said soldiers used riot dispersal means, and in order to "prevent further violent riots" declared part of the Nabi Saleh area a closed military zone.
Israelis see the video, which showed Israeli soldiers not reacting to an apparent attempt to provoke them, as evidence of the morality of their army.
Palestinians argue that Tamimi was merely seeking to force Israeli soldiers off their land, and point to her subsequent night-time military arrest as evidence of abuse of a child's rights.
The European Union and the United Nations expressed concern about Israel's detention of minors, including Ahed.
The detention of Tamimi also highlighted the issue of arrests of Palestinian minors. Defense for Children International-Palestine, a local group, said 331 Palestinians under the age of 18 were held in military detention as of May, according to the most recent statistics released by Israeli authorities, as reported by The AP. It said that in 2016, an average of 375 minors were in detention each month. The Israeli military was unable to provide data on the number of minors it is holding.
On social media, Palestinians celebrated Ahed as a hero in widely distributed cartoons. In one, she is shown in a Joan of Arc-like pose, raising a Palestinian flag, framed by her easily recognizable mane of dirty blonde curls.
Ahed 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 Mohammed in a chokehold during an attempted arrest.
In 2012, Ahed was awarded with the Hanzala Courage Award by Başakşehir Municipality in Istanbul for challenging the Israeli soldiers who had arrested her brother. At the time, then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his wife met the Palestinian girl.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.