Palestinian protest icon Ahed Tamimi released from Israeli prison

The teenager was jailed for slapping armed Israeli soldier in her home town

Palestinian protest icon Ahed Tamimi released from Israeli prison

Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi after her release from an Israeli prison, 29-07-2018. Image: Ilia Yefimovich/DPA/PA Images

A teenager who became an icon for the Palestinian struggle after being jailed for slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier has been released to hero’s welcome.

17-year-old Ahed Tamimi and her mother were greeted with banners, cheers and flags as they returned to their home village of Nabi Saleh in the West Bank.

Images of Tamimi attacking the soldier last December went viral.

Israeli authorities said the video, streamed live on Facebook by her mother, was a staged provocation.

Her father, Bassem Tamimi, said it was a natural reaction to the military occupation. The family are well-known for their activism.

In the hours before the incident, Ms Tamimi’s 15-year-old cousin Mohammed was left in a medically-induced coma when a rubber bullet was fired in his face from close range.

He has since lost much of his skull.

Palestinian Bassem Tamimi with his daughter Ahed, left and his wife Nariman on their arrival at their West Bank home village of Nebi Saleh in the West Bank, 29-07-2018. Image: Nasser Nasser/AP/Press Association Images

In January Ms Tamimi was indicted on two charges, including assault, stone throwing and incitement.

Following her release, the red-haired teenager told dozens of well-wishers: "From this martyr's house, I say resistance is continuing until the occupation is removed.”

"I thank everyone who stood by me while I was in prison."

Ms Tamimi's case drew global attention after Amnesty International warned that her sentence was at odds with international law - which states that the detention of a minor must be used only as a last resort for the shortest appropriate period of time.

Executive Director Colm O'Gorman says her imprisonment was an injustice.

“Whilst Ahed’s freedom today is really welcome; it’s got to be followed; it must be followed by the release of the other children who are unlawfully imprisoned by Israeli military courts,” he said.

“She was imprisoned by a military court unjustly and she has now finally been released – and that is welcome.

“But frankly, all of the children locked up in Israeli prisons must be released.”

An artist paints a giant mural of Ahed Tamimi on part of the Israeli separation wall, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, 25-07-2018. Image: AP Photo/Nasser Nasser

 

The village of Nabi Saleh in the West Bank is known for weekly protests against land seizures by Israel – leading to confrontations with the military and Jewish settlers.

The Israeli settlements are illegal under international law – however, this is disputed by the Israeli authorities.

The Tamimi clan are well known for their activism.

Dozens of its members have been arrested over the years and at least two have been killed during clashes with Israeli Defence Forces troops.

Ms Tamimi first came to international attention in 2012, when at the age of 11 she confronted an Israeli soldier who was twice her size.

Israeli authorities have accused the Tamimi family setting up their videos in an effort to make money and manipulate the press.

Additional reporting IRN ...