Palestinan girl urges ‘resistance’ upon release after slapping Israeli soldier

Ahed Tamimi calls for opposition to West Bank occupation after eight-month sentence

Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi (17) speaks during a press conference on the outskirts of the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh on Sunday upon her release from prison after an eight-month sentence. Photograph: Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images

A Palestinian teenager released by Israel on Sunday after completing a prison term for kicking and slapping a soldier has said the struggle against Israeli occupation of the West Bank must continue.

Ahed Tamimi (17) became a heroine to Palestinians after the incident last December outside her home in Nabi Saleh, a village which has campaigned for years against land seizures by Israel, leading to confrontations with the Israeli military and Jewish settlers.

Israelis regarded the incident, which Tamimi’s mother relayed live on Facebook, as a staged provocation.

Ahed Tamimi (17) at the grave of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in the West Bank town of Ramallah on Sunday following her release from prison. Photograph: Shadi Hatem/EPA.

Tamimi, who was 16 at the time of her arrest, faced 12 charges, including aggravated assault. In March, she pleaded guilty to a reduced charge sheet that included assault and was sentenced to eight months in prison, dating back to her arrest in December.


Wearing a black-and-white chequered Arab scarf, Tamimi greeted dozens of well-wishers in brief remarks outside the home of a Nabi Saleh villager killed by Israeli forces.

Ahed Tamimi (17) and her mother Nariman lay a wreath at the grave of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in the West Bank town of Ramallah on Sunday. Photograph: Shadi Hatem/EPA.

“From this martyr’s house, I say: resistance is continuing until the occupation is removed,” she told reporters. “All the female prisoners in jail are strong, and I thank everyone who stood by me while I was in prison.”

She scheduled to hold a news conference on Sunday afternoon.

Future state

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, something Israel disputes.

A man walks past a mural of Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi on Sunday, painted on Israel’s controversial separation barrier in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. The teenager was released from prison on Sunday after nearly eight months. Photograph: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images

US-sponsored negotiations on founding a Palestinian state alongside Israel have been stalled since 2014.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, in a statement published by the official news agency Wafa after he met Tamimi and her mother, described the teenager as "a model of peaceful civil resistance..., proving to the world that our Palestinian people will stand firm and constant on their land, no matter what the sacrifice".

Tamimi's case drew global attention and Amnesty International said after her conviction that her sentence was at odds with international law. Amnesty said that imprisonment of a minor must be used only as a last resort for the shortest appropriate period of time. - Reuters