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Israel extends detention of Palestinian teen held over slap: family

JERUSALEM: An Israeli military court decided on Wednesday to extend the detention of a high profile Palestinian activist, her father said, after a viral video showed her slapping Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank.

Ahed Tamimi, 17, a campaigner against Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, was arrested on Tuesday along with her mother after the video was widely shared by Israeli media.

In it Tamimi and another woman approach two Israeli soldiers, before shoving, kicking and slapping them while filming on mobile phones.

The heavily armed soldiers do not respond in the face of what appears to be an attempt to provoke rather than seriously harm them. They then move backwards.

Ahed appeared in an Israeli military court on Wednesday, with her detention being extended until December 25, her father Bassem told AFP.

There was no immediate confirmation from the army.

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Earlier Wednesday Israeli forces arrested a third Palestinian woman in connection with the video. Residents identified her as Nour Naji Tamimi, 21, a cousin of Ahed, and the other woman in the video.

The video appears to have been filmed near the Tamimi house in the village of Nabi Saleh north of Ramallah in the West Bank, during a day of protests against US President Donald Trump’s controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

A second video shows the girls telling the soldiers, apparently standing on the stairs of the family home, to leave.

The videos were widely picked up by Israeli media, which often accuse Palestinian protesters of seeking to provoke the army into responses which are then filmed.

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Israeli politicians hailed the restraint of the soldiers as evidence of the military’s values, but some called for tough responses in the face of seeming embarrassment.

Palestinians on social media criticised Ahed’s arrest in the middle of the night, arguing it is the people’s right to resist military occupation.

A member of the Tamimi family was shot in the head with a rubber bullet during protests on Friday, the family said.

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