Middle East

Palestinian girl arrested after troops 'slapped' in video

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Media captionAhed Tamimi was arrested after this video went viral

Israeli security forces have arrested a Palestinian girl apparently filmed hitting Israeli soldiers during protests in the occupied West Bank.

The girl - identified by her family as Ahed Tamimi, 16 - is accused of assault and taking part in a violent riot.

A video taken on Friday shows a group of females shouting at and hitting two soldiers.

The arrested girl's father said soldiers had earlier fired tear gas and broken windows at the family's house.

Bassem Tamimi, a prominent activist, added that Ahed's 15-year-old cousin, Mohammed, had also been hit in the face with a rubber bullet fired by Israeli soldiers earlier that day.

Mohammed was reportedly wounded during a weekly protest in the village of Nabi Salih where the Israeli military said more than 200 Palestinians threw stones.

"Several Palestinians entered a nearby home and continued throwing rocks at soldiers from inside the home with its occupants' consent," the military said.

"Forces removed the rioters from the home and remained standing in the entrance in order to prevent further entry. Later, several Palestinian women came out to face the soldiers in order to incite provocation."

The military said an investigation had determined that an infantry company commander was one of the two soldiers shown being confronted in the video, and that he had "conducted himself professionally by not responding in kind".

"The Palestinians could have been arrested at the time of the incident, considering they were physically violent and were disrupting the soldiers from carrying out their tasks," the investigation concluded.

In the video, the girl identified as Ahed can be heard telling the soldiers to leave the entrance to the home. When they do not move, she punches and kicks the soldiers. A second girl and a woman also push and kick the soldiers later in the video.

On Tuesday morning, Mr Tamimi wrote on Facebook: "[Israeli] forces raided my home and arrested my daughter following the Israeli media's attack against her. They stole our phones, cameras and laptops and beat my wife and children."

He told the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Aharonth on Monday that the incident in video took place after the soldiers "entered the grounds of the house, started throwing gas grenades around and broke the house's windows".

"An hour prior to the incident, they beat a local young man, and there's even a possibility the soldiers who beat him were those two [in the video]."

He added: "Their conduct may seem humane at that instance, but I don't think their general conduct that day was humane. I'm proud of my daughter and what she did."

Two years ago, Ahed Tamimi was in a video which went viral in which she was seen biting the hand of an Israeli soldier holding a Palestinian boy who the army said had been throwing stones.

Palestinian activists praised her actions, while many in Israel accused her family of using her as a propaganda tool.

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