Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi, arrested after kicking and slapping two IDF soldiers in a viral video, walked out of an Israeli prison Sunday and told throngs of journalists and well-wishers that she now wants to study law to defend her people.
The curly haired 17-year-old said that “resistance continues until the occupation is removed,” but refrained from saying she would slap soldiers again. The teen, who is on probation, said her eight months in prison were tough and helped her appreciate life.
At an outdoor news conference near her family home, she spoke against the backdrop of a large model of a slingshot that was “loaded” with a pencil rather than a stone, apparently to highlight education as one of the possible Palestinian tactics.
Tamimi is seen by many is Israel either as a provocateur, an irritation or even as a “terrorist.” Israel has treated her actions as a criminal offense, indicting her on charges of assault and incitement. In liberal circles, the hard-charging prosecution of Tamimi was criticized as a public relations disaster because it turned her into an international icon.
[WATCH: Neturei Karta’s Weiss Addresses NYC Rally In Support Of Imprisoned Palestinian Teen Ahed Tamimi]
Since 2009, residents of Nabi Salah, home to the extended Tamimi clan, have staged regular protests that often ended with stone-throwing clashes. Ahed has participated in such marches from a young age and has had several highly publicized run-ins with soldiers. One photo shows the then 12-year-old raising a clenched fist toward a soldier towering over her.
In a sign of her popularity, a pair of Italian artists painted a large mural of her on Israel’s West Bank separation barrier ahead of her release.
Israeli police said they were caught in the act along with another Palestinian and arrested for vandalism. On Sunday, Israel canceled the visas of the two Italians and ordered them to leave the country within three days, police said.
Ahed and her mother Nariman — also arrested in December in connection with the same incident — were released Sunday morning from a prison in northern Israel. They were driven by bus to the West Bank and were given a hero’s welcome in Nabi Saleh.
“The resistance continues until the occupation is removed,” Ahed said upon her return. “All the female prisoners are steadfast. I salute everyone who supported me and my case.”
[PHOTOS: Neturei Karta Makes Solidarity Visit To Family Of Ahed Tamimi; Jailed For Slapping IDF Soldier]
From her home, Ahed headed to a visit to the grave of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. She laid a wreath, kissed the headstone — twice at the request of photographers — and recited a prayer from the Quran, the Muslim holy book.
She was then taken with her family to a meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas at his headquarters in Ramallah.
The 83-year-old Abbas praised her as a symbol of resistance to occupation — even as he faces growing domestic criticism for not walking away from continued security coordination between his forces and Israeli troops against Hamas, a shared foe.
In an afternoon news conference, Ahed said that she completed her high school exams in prison, with the help of other prisoners. Palestinian inmates typically organize study courses to complete high school and even university degrees.
“I will study law to defend my people and defend my Palestinian cause in international forums,” she said.
She said her prison experience was tough, and that she missed her old life in the village and her friends. She said she underwent three lengthy interrogations without a female officer present, in violation of Israel’s own rules.
At one point Sunday, Ahed received a call from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who congratulated her on her release, said her father.
Israeli Cabinet minister Uri Ariel said the Tamimi case highlighted what could happen if Israel lets its guard down.
“I think Israel acts too mercifully with these types of terrorists. Israel should treat harshly those who hit its soldiers,” he told The Associated Press. “We can’t have a situation where there is no deterrence. Lack of deterrence leads to the reality we see now … we must change that.”
She should be put back in prison for another 48 hours to show her how serious the govt is about her parole freedoms.
It shows how truly not peaceful Abu Mazen really is.
Hold on guys – am I the only one to see that Abu Mazen is just following the example of our very own Bibi who greeted the security guard at the Israel Embassy in Amman, Jordan as a hero when he returned to Israel after killing two Jordanians. I guess if Israeli Cabinet minister Uri Ariel thinks kicking and slapping are more serious than killing he is right that Israel acts too mercifully with these types of terrorists. On the other hand, maybe he didn’t read the sign that should be before his eyes at every minute of the day “Engage brain in gear before opening mouth”.
Ahed is getting Ahead of herself. She will not find success in the paths she will take. Plus she will not be allowed to walk this earth again… starting from tomorrow she will be struck down by the mighty HaShem
Jerusalem observer don’t compare a terrorists support who has no ethical and mortal standards to some who is protecting millions of people.
This girl and her family are not indigenous to the land and has occupied the land for several years. All of their family have terrorists connection. Just look at her cousin Jamil Tamimi who murdered a UK student Hannah Bladon who was an anti-Semite and anti Israel and pro Palestinian.
Another cousin Ahlam Tamimi who helped in assisted in carrying out a suicide bombing at Sbarro restaurant in Yerushalayim. She was a journalist and used it to her advantage to deceive the world. 15 people have been killed and 122 others injured according to the FBI. There is a 5 million dollar bounty on her. Here is the link https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/wanted_terrorists/ahlam-ahmad-al-tamimi/@@download.pdf
This is a family of terrorists and many people see’s her action and praises it. How can a group of NK visit the family and praise them? Did they not know that they want to murder “Jews” and not just “Zionist” How can some part of the western world (left) take sides with these terrorists?