Palestinian girl jailed in Israel for slapping soldier freed after 8months

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A Palestinian teenager who was filmed assaulting an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank has been freed after eight months in jail.

Video showing Ahed Tamimi slapping and kicking the soldier outside her home in Nabi Saleh last year went viral.

For Palestinians, she became a symbol of resistance to Israeli occupation, but many Israelis see her as a publicity-seeking troublemaker.

The 17-year-old was mobbed by well-wishers as she returned to her town.

“Resistance is continuing until the occupation is removed,” she told the crowd.

Speaking to the media later, she said she had resolved “to study law and to focus on holding the occupation accountable”.

Sixteen at the time, she was originally charged with 12 counts of assault, incitement, interference with soldiers and stone throwing.

In March, she agreed to plead guilty to four of the charges, including incitement and assault.

Ahed Tamimi was filmed by her mother, Nariman, shouting at and shoving two soldiers in the driveway of her family home on 15 December 2017.

The incident was streamed on Nariman Tamimi’s Facebook page and video of the confrontation was widely viewed.

Ahed Tamimi told a pre-trial hearing that she had lashed out at the soldiers because she had seen them shoot her 15-year-old cousin Mohammed in the head with a rubber bullet that same day.

The Israeli military said it had dispatched the soldiers to the Tamimis’ home, where Palestinian youths had been throwing stones at troops sent to quell violent protests.

It also later contested the cause of Mohammed’s head injury, saying last month that the boy had told interrogators he sustained it from falling off a bike.

Ahed Tamimi’s case sparked an outpouring of deeply opposing views between Israelis and Palestinians.

Her mother was also charged with incitement on social media and assault, while her cousin Nour, who participated in the incident, was charged with assault. Her face has appeared on street murals and posters, while an online petition organised by her father calling for her release gathered 1.7m signatures.

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