Angry Israeli officials on Saturday slammed Real Madrid for honouring Ahed Tamimi, a teenager associated with Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation.
The La Liga club hosted the 17-year-old and her father at Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday, where she was presented with a personalised jersey by the former striker and now director of institutional relations Emilio Butragueno.
Daniel Kutner, Israel's ambassador to Spain, wrote on Twitter: "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."
Ahed Tamimi está promoviendo violencia contra ciudadanos israelies. @realmadrid - recibir una terrorista que incita al odio y a la violencia es algo que no tiene nada que ver con los valores universales de fútbol. https://t.co/DGN2NDWTMx— Yoav Katz ð®ð± (@YoavKatz) September 29, 2018
Emmanuel Nahshon, a spokesman for the Israeli foreign minister, wrote "Ahed Tamimi is not a peaceful fighter but a defender of violence and terror. The institutions that received it and celebrated it indirectly encourage aggression and not the dialogue and understanding that we need. I'm not going to the Bernabeu today."
Ahed Tamimi no es una luchadora pacífica sino una defensora de la violencia y el terror. Las instituciones que la recibieron y festejaron alientan indirectamente la agresión y no el diálogo y el entendimiento que necesitamos.— Embajador Israelð®ð± (@Isr_Amb_Esp) September 29, 2018
Hoy no voy al Bernabéu.@realmadrid @PSOE
The 17-year-old is visiting Spain this week with her family to participate in various social and political events.
She was arrested in December 2017 after a video of her slapping and hitting two soldiers from the Israel Defence Forces outside of her house in the village of Nabi Saleh in the occupied West Bank went viral.
Since then, she has become a figure of Palestinian resistance and spent eight months in prison. She was released in late July.