Symbol of resistance

Palestinian teen who slapped Israeli soldier released after 8 months in prison

Palestinian activist and campaigner Ahed Tamimi during a press conference in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh on July 29, 2018, upon her release from prison after an eight-month sentence. (ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

She was filmed slapping and kicking heavily armed Israeli soldiers outside her home,  sentenced to eight months in prison—and became known around the world. But now 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi has been released from jail and is being heralded as an important activist for Palestinian rights.

The fight occurred in December after Tamimi learned her 15-year-old cousin had been severely wounded by a rubber bullet fired by Israeli forces, reports The Guardian. Her mother, who live-streamed the encounter on Facebook, was also arrested, and Tamimi pleaded guilty in an Israeli military court to assault, incitement, and two counts of obstructing soldiers. Israel’s culture minister had called her a “terrorist” for inciting violence. Nabi Saleh, the village where she lives, has been home to protests against Israeli occupation for years. The 17-year-old was greeted with cheers by her neighbors after arriving home on Sunday. “The resistance continues until the occupation is removed,” she said during a day that saw her meeting with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.

The severe sentence was called “unjust” and based “on the ridiculous premise that she posed a threat to armed and heavily protected soldiers,” Saleh Higazi, head of Amnesty International’s Jerusalem’s office, told The Guardian. “This is a huge relief for Ahed Tamimi’s loved ones, but their joy will be tempered by the injustice of her imprisonment and the grim knowledge that many more Palestinian children still languish in Israeli jails, many despite not having committed any recognisable crime.”

During her prison sentence and after, public support continued to flow, with rallies held calling for her release. And this week an Italian graffiti artist was arrested for painting a gigantic mural of Tamimi on the Israeli security barrier between the West Bank and Israel, reports The Times of Israel.

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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