Israel releases Palestinian teenager who struck soldier from prison

 

 

Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi has been freed by Israel after spending eight months in prison for slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank.

Tamimi, 17, became a heroine to Palestinians last year following the incident outside her home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. The episode was streamed live on Facebook by her mother.

On Sunday, Tamimi greeted dozens of well-wishers in brief remarks outside the home of a Nabi Saleh villager killed by Israeli forces.

She told supporters: “From this martyr’s house, I say: resistance is continuing until the occupation is removed.”

“All the female prisoners in jail are strong, and I thank everyone who stood by me while I was in prison,” she added.

Reuters

Palestinians want the West Bank for a future state, along with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Most countries consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be illegal, which Israel disputes.

Tamimi was 16 at the time of the incident and originally faced 12 charges, but pleaded guilty in March to four charges including assault.

In the footage, she kicks one soldier and slaps his face, and threatens to punch the other.

Tamimi had lashed out at the soldiers because she saw them shoot her 15-year-old cousin in the head with a rubber bullet.

The Israeli military said it had dispatched the soldiers to the family home, where Palestinian youths had been throwing stones at troops.

The case drew global attention and put the spotlight on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, especially the youth, and drew sharp division in the region. Israelis say Tamimi has long been exploited by her family, who they accuse of using her to try to provoke Israeli soldiers on film.

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