CNN reported Sunday that Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi has been released from prison after being arrested and charged for slapping an Israeli soldier. According to the Israeli Prison Authority, Tamimi was imprisoned for eight months and was finally released on Sunday morning along with her mother, Nariman Tamimi.
The Palestinian mother and daughter were transferred from HaSharon Prison in Israel and taken to a border crossing in the West Bank, from which they were able to return to their village, Nabi Saleh.
Upon returning to her village, 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi was greeted by supporters and fans waving Palestinian flags and cheering her on. Standing outside of her house, Tamimi made a brief statement, saying, “From our home, the resistance is continuing until the end of the occupation. I thank everyone who supported me during my arrest.”
Afterward, Tamimi attended a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, who applauded her bravery and perseverance.
The Palestinian news agency, Wafa, reported that Abbas called Tamimi “a model of the Palestinian struggle for freedom, independence and statehood,” encouraging the use of nonviolent protest as an “ideal and vital weapon in facing the repression of the Israeli occupation.”
The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, also reached out to Tamimi, lauding her for her strength and courage.
After returning home once again, Tamimi vowed to continue the resistance, adding, “especially our resistance for equality and human rights.”
Having completed her high school education in jail, Tamimi plans to go to law school in order to help detainees with their cases and potentially bring international attention to their struggles. Tamimi, however, was unable to say whether or not she would slap an Israeli soldier again, commenting, “I can’t predict the future.”
“Maybe tomorrow Palestine might be free,” she continued, “and I can’t define what’ll happen in the future. I hope that the occupation goes away so that I don’t think about doing this again.”
“I’ve never lived under peace. This is why I see peace as something important,” she added.
Tamimi’s attorney, Gabi Lasky, told CNN that her arrest was mainly a political move for Israel, urging that arresting minors will not put an end to the longstanding conflict between Israel and Palestine. “I hope our leaders will be courageous enough to reach an agreement and free us all from the chains of occupation,” Lasky said.
After initially being arrested in December on 12 different charges, Tamimi pleaded guilty to four charges in March in exchange for a reduced sentence. The four charges included incitement and disrupting a soldier.