Israeli troops arrest Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi in West Bank

 Israeli national security minister praises arrest of Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi

FILE PHOTO: Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi, who was released from an Israeli prison on Sunday, holds her pillow as she sits on her bed in her room in Nabi Saleh village in the Israeli-occupied West Bank July 30, 2018. REUTERS/Raneen Sawafta/File Photo

NABI SALEH, West Bank — Israeli troops on Monday arrested a Palestinian activist, regarded in the occupied West Bank as a hero since she was a teenager, on suspicion of inciting violence, but her mother denied the claim and said it was based on a fake Instagram post.

The Israeli military said it apprehended Ahed Tamimi, 22, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. Tamimi rose to prominence in 2017 when, at age 16, she slapped an Israeli soldier who raided her village. She and others have for years protested Israeli land seizures.

Tamimi “is suspected of inciting violence and calling for terrorist activity to be carried out,” the military said.

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Her mother, Nariman Tamimi, said more than a dozen Israeli soldiers entered their house overnight and arrested her daughter.

Israeli authorities alleged the young woman “wrote an inciting (Instagram) post calling for the killing of settlers and saying what Hitler did wasn’t enough – but Ahed does not have an Instagram account,” her mother said in an interview.

Some Israeli media outlets published a screenshot of what appeared to be an Instagram post by an account with Tamimi’s name and picture. The text threatened to “slaughter” Israel’s West Bank settlers.

Reuters was not able to locate the Instagram account, which had the handle “ahed_tamimi15”, or independently authenticate the image. The military did not comment on the image.

After slapping the soldier, Tamimi was sentenced to eight months in prison upon pleading guilty to reduced charges that included assault.

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She is one of hundreds in the territory who have been detained as violence has flared over the past month between Israel and Gaza militants.

Israel says its West Bank arrests are aimed in part at thwarting attacks, as it wages a ground assault against Gaza’s Hamas militants following a deadly Oct. 7 rampage in Israel by the militant group.

Violence has also flared in the West Bank, which has seen regular clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinians. Since Oct. 7, Israeli troops have killed at least 141 Palestinians in the territory, including 43 children, according to U.N. figures.

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