Ahed Tamimi, renowned 17-year-old Palestinian resister, freed from Israeli prison after eight months
“This is a day of relief, which we hope will blossom into happiness once this brutal military occupation is out of our lives. … I call on members of the international community to uphold their responsibility towards our people and take concrete steps to end this perpetual injustice.”
— Bassem Tamimi on Daughter Ahed’s Release from Prison
by Emma Fiala
Bassem Tamimi told the Anadolu Agency earlier this week that he expected his 17-year-old daughter to be released from an Israeli prison on Sunday, July 29. Bassem’s prediction came true when, 21 days short of fulfilling her eight-month jail term, Ahed Tamimi walked free.
Bassem had this to say of his daughter’s release: “This is a day of relief, which we hope will blossom into happiness once this brutal military occupation is out of our lives.”
Prison spokesperson, Assaf Librati, told AFP that Ahed and her mother, Nariman, “just left the prison” and were being driven to a checkpoint that leads to the occupied West Bank.
Ahed and Nariman were each sentenced to eight months in prison on similar charges after Nariman’s video of her daughter and cousin driving Israeli soldiers off their land in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh in the occupied West Bank went viral. In the video Ahed can be seen shoving and slapping the two Israeli soldiers on her family’s property on December 15, 2017. As seen in the video, the soldiers, armed with assault rifles, were easily able to ward off Ahed’s slaps and kicks.
Ahed was convicted of incitement, aggravated assault, and obstructing soldiers after her December 19 arrest.
The 17-year-old has since become a symbol of Palestinian resistance across Palestine and the world.
While Ahed and her mother are now free and headed home, Ahed’s brother Wa’ed remains in prison for suspected involvement in terror attacks. 22-year-old Wa’ed was arrested in May during a nighttime raid. Bassam Tamimi said: “My son is still in Israeli prison for the duration of military court proceedings against him, which is a reminder that Israel’s occupation is always seeking to punish us because our existence contradicts the existence of the occupation. And so, I call on members of the international community to uphold their responsibility towards our people and take concrete steps to end this perpetual injustice.”
Leading up to Ahed’s Sunday release, Israeli forces closed the entrance gate to the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh, the Tamimis’ home in the occupied West Bank earlier this week. According to locals, occupation forces “forcefully” prevented residents of Nabi Saleh from entering or leaving their village.
While the village is relatively small relative to other West Bank villages, it is the site of weekly anti-occupation demonstrations that have garnered media attention over the years.
CodePink created an online card welcoming Ahed and Nariman home. Two Italian artists have painted a large mural of Ahed on the apartheid wall in Bethlehem in the West Bank. The two have since been arrested by Israeli authorities.