But for all the Palestinian youth who have had run-ins with the Israeli military, few have become as internet famous as Ahed Tamimi. The 16-year-old native of Nabi Saleh, a village in the West Bank, faced a dozen charges from Israeli authorities this week after a video of her slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier stationed outside her home spread across the web.

The video is striking. At first, Ahed (who is standing with her cousin, 20-year-old Nur Tamimi) can be seen pushing two armed soldiers, telling them to “get out” of the area surrounding the family’s home. After one soldier attempts to swat Ahed away with his arm, she responds by kicking and slapping him. The soldier dodges, but doesn’t retaliate. Soon after, Ahed’s mother, Nariman Tamimi, intervenes, urging the soldiers to leave. It was based on this altercation that all three women were charged with assault by Israeli authorities. Nariman Tamimi faces an additional charge of incitement for broadcasting the altercation on Facebook Live. Ahed Tamimi faces a total of 12 charges, including incitement and throwing stones.

The video of the melee garnered widespread attention on both sides of the Green Line. Among Palestinians, Ahed was heralded for standing up to the army. Some who praised her compared her to Malala Yousafzai and Joan of Arc. Bassem Tamimi, Ahed’s father and a veteran activist—who himself was charged by Israeli authorities for organizing protests in 2012—called his daughter “a representative of a new generation of our people, of young freedom fighters” in Israeli newspaper Haaretzadding: “My daughter has spent her whole life under the heavy shadow of the Israeli prison … her own arrest was just a matter of time. An inevitable tragedy waiting to happen.”

Exactly what kind of symbol Ahed has become is a matter of much debate—and something of a Rorschach test for how people view the larger politics of the region. For Israelis, she is seen as living proof of the army’s restraint. For Palestinians, she appears to have emerged as a national hero representing of a new generation of Palestinian resistance. A young girl known for her long, curly hair isn’t the image one might typically come to expect of a national freedom fighter—a role once reserved for figures like Yasser Arafat, the former Palestinian president, or Marwan Barghouti, who is currently serving multiple life sentences in Israeli prison for murder.

Palestinians join Lebanese for a protest calling for the release of Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi.  Photo by Anwar Amro / AFP

Unlike these leaders from generations past, Ahed is both young and very much online—recognizable not only to those within Israel and Palestine, but to viewers around the world. Whereas Arafat and Barghouti’s faces are more likely to be seen displayed on Israel’s separation barrier than they are on YouTube, Ahed’s face is more likely to be seen on modern, self-publishing web platforms—which enhances the sense that she’s giving the world a more authentic glimpse into the life of an everyday Palestinian kid, regardless of whether that’s actually the case. It’s a level of online recognition that few other Palestinians can claim, except perhaps Mohammed Assaf, the Gaza native who gained widespread acclaim in 2013 when he won Arab Idol (the Middle Eastern version of American Idol) at the age of 23. It’s also a revealing reminder of what it means to be internet-famous in Palestine.