Palestinian teenage protester who slapped Israeli soldier freed from jail

Palestinian teenage protester who slapped Israeli soldier freed from jail

Palestinian teenage protester who slapped Israeli soldier freed from jail

Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenage girl turned protest symbol who was filmed hitting Israeli soldiers previous year, has been released after serving an nearly eight-month prison sentence.

Tamimi, 17, became a heroine to Palestinians after the December 15 incident outside her home in the village of Nabi Saleh was streamed live on Facebook by her mother and went viral.

In a sign of the sensitivity of the case, Israeli authorities on Saturday arrested two Italians and a Palestinian for painting Tamimi's now-familiar image on the Israeli separation wall cutting off the West Bank.

A defiant al-Tamimi thanked all supporters who stood by her and her family during her detention.

"I have been longing for this moment because I missed them a lot", Tamimi's father Bassem told German news agency DPA ahead of her release on Thursday.

Her supporters see a courageous girl who struck two armed soldiers in frustration after learning that Israeli troops had seriously wounded a 15-year-old cousin, shooting him in the head from close range with a rubber bullet during nearby stone-throwing clashes.

Palestinian Bassem Tamimi, center walks with his daughter Ahed, left and his wife Nariman upon their arrival at their West Bank home village of Nebi Saleh, near Ramallah, July 29, 2018.

"All the female prisoners are steadfast".

Tamimi is well-known for her protests against the Israel Defense Forces and is considered by many Palestinians as somewhat of a protest icon.

She was aged 16 at the time and turned 17 in prison.

Following their release, the Tamimis will hold a press conference (at 4pm local time) accompanied by other members of their family.

They were expected to be released at the Jbara checkpoint near Tulkarem, but there were later indications they would be taken to a crossing at Rantis.

Her mother was also charged with incitement on social media and assault, while her cousin Nour, who participated in the incident, was charged with assault.

"Ahed Tamimi is a symbol of Palestinian pride and dignity, a reminder of the corruption and crimes of the Israeli occupation, and a chapter of shame to those who never condemn any of Israel's crimes, like the so-called American peace envoys", Erekat wrote on Twitter Sunday.

Omar Shakir, head of NGO Human Rights Watch in Israel, said her release on Sunday would be a moment to reflect on what he called the "endemic" ill-treatment of children in the Israeli legal system.

Dozens of relatives, her immediate family and her friends, had waited for Tamimi since early on Sunday, along with many journalists.

In the wake of the assault, Education Minister Naftali Bennet said he would like to see her in jail for the rest of her life, while another MP said he would like to "hit her in the face".

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