Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi enters a military courtroom at Ofer Prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 15, 2018.
(photo credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS)
Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Mandla Mandela will invite Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi to South Africa to receive a special reward “for bravery, resistance and being a symbol of hope for millions.”
Tamimi, who was jailed for eight months after being videoed provoking and slapping an IDF soldier last year, was released on Sunday.
According to several South African media outlets and the Afro-Palestine Newswire Service, Mandla made the comments during a celebration to commemorate his late grandfather’s 100th birthday. He reportedly promised Tamimi that he will “continue to support and rally others to join in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] campaign to isolate Apartheid Israel until Palestine is free.”
Mandla then saluted Tamimi as “a symbol of Palestinian resistance.”
Many of South Africa’s leaders, including the country’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, have been vocal about the incarceration of Tamimi.
Earlier this year, Ramaphosa, during a response to questions following his state of the nation address, called for the speedy release of Tamimi.
“At this moment, we wish to express our deepest concern about the continued imprisonment of Palestinian children in Israeli jails,” he said in reference to Tamimi. The comment received thunderous applause in the country’s parliament.
Several references have also been made to Tamimi’s incarceration by other members of parliament during a number of public addresses over the last few months.
In an open letter to the president in February, Mandla called for Tamimi’s release saying, “Ahed Tamimi remains in prison while we remain silent. President Cyril Ramaphosa‚ your voice can bring about the necessary change for the release of Ahed Tamimi and many Palestinian children and women in Israeli apartheid jails. Your call can free Palestinian political prisoners.
Your call can lead us to realize Madiba’s call for a free Palestine‚” he said. (Madiba is the name of Nelson Mandela’s clan, by which he later came to be known.) Tamimi visited South Africa in 2017 as part of a tour with the group Shamsaan Pals4Peace, and said during an interview with the Voice of the Cape radio station that she doesn’t “want to copy Mandela or Gandhi, I want to learn from them how to liberate us [Palestinians].”
“I don’t like to be a victim,” she said. “The brainwashed Israeli soldier is the victim. We need to be strong women, like Sayyidah Khadiji [my Khadijah] the wife of the Prophet Muhammad.”
In a separate interview during the same trip, she proudly stated: “My dad has been in jail nine times, my mom has been arrested five times, my older brother two times and my younger brother has been in jail more than once.”
Members of the Tamimi family have been involved in terrorist activity with one member, Ahlam Tamimi, being the mastermind and facilitator of the 2001 Sbarro massacre, in which 15 people were killed. Several Tamimi family members have also praised terrorist attacks against Israelis on social media.
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