Some Israelis have accused her of courting publicity and being a troublemaker.
She was arrested during a night raid four days later, after a video of her threatening and beating two Israel Defense Forces soldiers went viral. The latest in the extended family to die was a 17-year-old distant cousin, who was the first Palestinian to die in clashes with Israeli forces this year. Regrettably, Tamimi's is not an isolated case, since statistics show that Israel stops and processes 500 to 700 Palestinian children annually in military courts, United Nations experts warned.
This prolonged ordeal continues to unfold without a decent ending in sight. "But although painful, it's definitely put a spotlight on Palestinian children in detention".
"She is not a little girl, she is a terrorist", said culture minister Miri Regev. He further reflected on his sister, who died after one of his remand hearings in the 1990s, "My sister died in one of these courts, we need the people and the media inside with us". Posters of the blue-eyed teenager with distinctive long, curly blonde hair, appear across the West Bank and more than 1.7 million people have signed an online petition calling for her release.
More luridly, Ben Caspit, a prominent journalist, made a rather shocking assertion of how Ahed's type of defiant behavior shockingly deserves to be addressed outside the framework of law: "In the case of girls, we should exact a price at some other opportunity, in the dark without witnesses or cameras". An Israeli musician even likened her to Anne Frank.
"From Trayvon Martin to Mohammed Abu Khdeir and Khalif Browder to Ahed Tamimi - racism, state violence and mass incarceration have robbed our people of their childhoods and their futures", read the open letter organized by US -based Dream Defenders group that was formed following Martin's death to fight for social change. "I felt crushed", finding the incident "damaging to the honor of the military and the state of Israel". Israel has faced criticism for prosecuting the teen who has become a powerful symbol of the Palestinian resistance.
The video caused a great debate in both Israeli and Palestinian societies.
When Palestinians are noticed, as in this incident, it tends to be with derision, and expressions of a domineering Israeli political will that considers it entirely fitting to impose punishments on Palestinian children of a severity totally disproportionate to the gravity of the supposed crime.
NGO Monitor responded, "Ahed Tamimi is a prime example of how children are exploited and weaponized in the Arab-Israeli conflict".
Of course, there are more sophisticated Israeli responses to Ahed's challenge.
In the December 15 video, she talks about President Donald Trump's recognition a week earlier of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
In later events captured on video, Ahed yells at the soldiers to leave, slapping one and punching the other in the head.
Ahed Tamimi is one of some 350 Palestinian children now in Israeli military detention.
Ahed Tamimi has been incarcerated since she was arrested on December 19, four days after she was filmed confronting the soldiers outside her West Bank home.
From a young age, Tamimi has taken part in regular anti-occupation marches by residents of Nabi Saleh, which lost land to a nearby Jewish settlement. "When I was 15, I think I would have been petrified".
Her case has drawn wide public attention to Israeli military court procedures, which are often described by rights groups as discriminatory.
Beyond the legal fate of Ahed's case is the unspeakable inhumanity of holding a civilian population captive generation after generation.