Published: Mon, July 30, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Palestinian teen activist to be invited to SA: Mandla Mandela

Palestinian teen activist to be invited to SA: Mandla Mandela

Tamimi was incarcerated for slapping an Israeli soldier and kicking another after her 15-year-old cousin was shot in the head with a rubber-coated, metal bullet by Israeli soldiers following confrontations between soldiers and Palestinian youths during a nightly raid on the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. "I thank everyone who supported me during my arrest". Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas suspended contacts with the US after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December in what Palestinians denounced as a display of blatant pro-Israel bias.

Israeli police said they were caught in the act along with another Palestinian and arrested for vandalism.

Video showing Ahed Tamimi slapping and kicking the soldier outside her home in Nabi Saleh past year went viral.

A mural on Israel's controversial separation barrier in the West Bank city of Bethlehem painted drawn by Italian artist Jorit Agoch.

The Palestinian icon also brought a message from the female prisoners: "Work for the unity of Palestine, support Great March of Return protests in the Gaza Strip and back the resistance of people of Khan al-Ahmar", she said, referring to a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank where locals face Israeli destruction.

Ahed Tamimi's mother, Nariman, was also released on Sunday after being imprisoned on charges of incitement for sharing a live recording of her teenage daughter standing up to the fully-armed Israeli soldier in December.

"Anyone who also chooses this path should prepare themselves to spend time in prison", she said.

As she spoke to reporters, Tamimi's unruly blond curls fell over her black-and-white checkered scarf, long an emblem of Palestinian nationalism.

Tamimi's supporters see a fearless girl who struck two armed soldiers in frustration after having just learned that Israeli troops seriously wounded a 15-year-old cousin, shooting him in the head from close range with a rubber bullet during nearby stone-throwing clashes.

Family members and supporters gathered at the checkpoint to greet them, but the military vehicles driving them did not stop, instead continuing toward Nabi Saleh.

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Masalha said diplomatic officials from Italy were involved in securing the artists' release.

In an afternoon news conference, Ahed said that she completed her high school exams in prison, with the help of other prisoners.

Speaking to the media later, she said she had resolved "to study law and to focus on holding the occupation accountable".

But a somber Tamimi acknowledged that "life in prison was very hard". 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 garden in Nabi Saleh.

Ahed Tamimi, centre, with her father, left, and mother, right.

"They were arrested on the fourth day of carrying out this graffiti painting despite the fact that there is an observation tower of the military there and they were under this observation point from the first day and it's interesting as to why this incident occurred on the fourth day", he said.

Ahed was 16 when she was arrested and turned 17 while in custody.

Tamimi, whose December arrest drew global attention, tearfully embraced relatives as a crowd of supporters jostled for selfies with the teen.

According to the Addameer prisoner support group, of the approximately 5900 Palestinian political prisoners now being held in Israeli jails, 291 were children.

Israel's Education Minister Naftali Bennett said Ahed and Nour Tamimi deserved to "finish their lives in prison". "Lack of deterrence leads to the reality we see now ... we must change that".

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