Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi, dubbed by some as the Wonder Woman of Palestine, became a symbol of resistance against Israeli military occupation after she was arrested for slapping Israeli soldiers who had raided her home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh and allegedly shot her cousin in the face with a rubber bullet.
The 17-year-old has finally been freed after spending eight months in a military prison inside Israel. She had taken a plea deal offered by the military prosecution earlier this year, under which she pleaded guilty to charges including assault, incitement and two counts of obstructing soldiers.
It is important to note Israel's military court system boasts a more than 99 percent conviction rate for Palestinians, a factor that likely led the teenager to accept the deal.
As reported by several news outlets, both Tamimi and her mother Narmain, who was also arrested after she filmed her daughter’s viral arrest, were released by the Israeli authorities and transferred to their village, the residents of which have been preparing for the young activist’s return by decorating her home with Palestinian flags and setting up hundreds of chairs in the courtyard to welcome relatives and friends who come to greet her.
Earlier this week, IDF soldiers arrested two Italian artists who painted a giant mural depicting the iconic teenager on West Bank security barrier.
Meanwhile, Bassem Tamimi, the teen’s father, said “we expect her to lead and we will support her to lead” after her release from the prison, according to the Times of Israel. He also added Tamimi was able to take her high school examination in prison and has received scholarship offers from abroad. However, he mentioned she initially wanted to attend a university in the West Bank.
Both Tamimi and her mother are expected to hold a press conference in their village of Nabi Saleh after paying a visit to the tomb of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Ramallah.
Tamimi was arrested in December 2017 – just a month before she turned 17. At least 30 heavily armed soldiers forcibly entered her house a few days after a video surfaced showing the teen kicking and slapping an Israeli soldier after the troops fired tear-gas canisters directly at her home and also fired a rubber bullet at her 14-year-old cousin, who had to be put into a medically induced coma.
Her arrest sparked global outrage with people all across the world protesting her detainment and demanding to know since when has protecting one’s home against occupying forces become a crime?
Initially, Israeli authorities sought 12 charges against Tamimi – who has been compared to Anne Frank, Nelson Mandela and has been protesting Israeli occupation of her home since she was a little girl. The charges included threatening and assaulting an Israeli soldier, interfering with his duties, throwing objects at individuals and property, and incitement. However, under the plea deal, the prosecution dropped the other eight charges.