Ahed Tamimi, the teenager who was filmed late last year slapping an IDF soldier in her village of Nabi Saleh near Ramallah, was released from prison on Sunday morning after serving an eight month sentence.
IDF arrests Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
In the incriminating video, taken by the young woman's mother, she and her sister are gathered around two soldiers when the 17-year-old slaps one of the soldiers and kicks him. A few days after the incident, the video was published and Tamimi was arrested, and later her relatives were as well.
Tamimi was sentenced in March to eight months in prison after reaching a plea bargain, under which she pleaded guilty to one count of assault, one count of incitement and two counts – unrelated to the December incident – of obstructing soldiers. She also agreed to pay a NIS 5,000 fine.
Ahed and other members of the Tamimi family have become famous in recent years for their appearances in photographs and videos in which they provoke IDF soldiers.
Her mother, Nariman, who was also arrested in connection with the December 15, 2017 incident, is also expected to be released from prison on Sunday morning.
Ahed's cousin, Nour Tamimi, was given a NIS 2,000 fine and sentenced to 16 days in prison.
In January, Ahed was indicted for assaulting an officer and an IDF soldier, and for five other incidents in which she threw stones, and attacked and threatened security forces.
Tamimi has become a heroine to the Palestinian resistance movement since the video in which she appeared went viral. She has been called a "symbol of resistance against Israeli occupation."
The Tamimi family and Palestinian activists are preparing a hero’s welcome for Ahed and her mother in Nabi Saleh. Dozens of family members and supporters are expected to receive the two upon their release at an IDF checkpoint near Tulkarm.
Her father, Bassem Tamimi, said on Saturday that several Palestinian groups plan to celebrate the release of his daughter and wife. He said that the two will first head to Ramallah to lay a wreath at Yasser Arafat’s mausoleum in the Palestinian Authority Mukata presidential compound.
Later in the day, Tamimi is scheduled to hold a press conference in the Beduin village of Khan al-Ahmar, near the Jewish settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim. Khan al-Ahmar's residents are facing eviction next month.
It was not immediately clear whether the two would meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
Gaby Lasky, the lawyer who represented Palestinian teenager Tamimi, responded to Tamimi's release Sunday morning.
"I am happy that she's finally out," Lasky said. "She was incarcerated because of politics, rather than for legal reasons... Her slap was a loud slap in the face of the hasbara
[public diplomacy] of [the Israeli] occupation."
Member of Knesset Yousef Jabareen also commented on Tamimi's release.
"The smile of Eyad Tamimi this morning with her family is a picture of victory. Her arrest in the first place was arbitrary and vengeful. For eight months she was taken from her life for a legitimate act of expressing a brave stance against the occupation. Her imprisonment is meant to humiliate her and break her spirit, but she is now a heroine and a victor," said Jabareen. "Israel must understand that it is impossible to suppress a just popular protest and that its actions only strengthen those who oppose the occupation. The time has come to stop the military control of Tamimi and her generation, and to end the occupation."
Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.