Palestinian Ahed Tamimi Finally Freed After 8 Months For Slapping Two Israeli Soldiers

Published July 29th, 2018 - 08:56 GMT
Ahed Tamimi finally leaves prison, back to her  West Bank village. (Facebook)
Ahed Tamimi finally leaves prison, back to her West Bank village. (Facebook)
Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi left prison Sunday after an eight-month sentence for slapping two Israeli soldiers, an episode captured on video that made her a symbol of resistance for Palestinians, a prison service spokesman said.

Assaf Librati told AFP Tamimi, 17, and her mother, who was also jailed over the incident, were being driven by Israeli authorities from a prison inside Israel to a checkpoint leading to the occupied West Bank, where they live.

"They just left the prison," Librati said.

In Nabi Saleh, supporters welcomed Tamimi home with banners and Palestinian flags planted on the roof of her home. Hundreds of chairs were set up for well-wishers in the courtyard.

Her father, Bassem Tamimi, said he expects her to take a lead in the struggle against Israeli occupation but she is also weighing college options.

Both Tamimi and her mother were sentenced to eight months in an Israeli military court following a plea deal over the December incident which the family said took place in their yard.

Video of it went viral, leading Palestinians to view her as a hero standing up to Israel's occupation.

Her now-familiar image has been painted on Israel's separation wall cutting off the West Bank. Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has praised her and social media has been flooded with support.

Tamimi’s incarceration had drawn attention from around the globe, highlighting the teen’s image as a Palestinian icon. She had become a cause célèbre for Palestinian supporters, and rallies were held in several locations calling for her release after her arrest in December.

Tamimi was arrested in the early hours of December 19, four days after the incident. She was 16 at the time.
 

Her mother Nariman was also arrested, as was her cousin Nour, who was freed in March.

Israel's military said the soldiers were in the area on the day of the incident to prevent Palestinians from throwing stones at Israeli motorists.

The video shows the cousins approaching two soldiers and telling them to leave before shoving, kicking and slapping them.

The heavily armed soldiers do not respond in the face of what appears to be an attempt to provoke rather than seriously harm them.

They then move backward after Nariman becomes involved.

The scuffle took place amid clashes and protests against US President Donald Trump's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

A member of the Tamimi family was wounded in the head by a rubber bullet fired during those protests.

In a related development, Israeli border police on Saturday arrested two Italian graffiti artists who were painting a mural of Ahed on the Israeli separation barrier in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, according to Palestinian officials.

The Palestine Liberation Organization said on Twitter that Israeli forces had arrested the two Italian artists and a Palestinian who was with them.

Israel maintains control over most of the West Bank, where the Palestinians have limited self-rule.
 
This article has been adapted from its original source.

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