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Ahed Tamimi: Israel frees Palestinian viral slap video teen

Media captionIs a slap terrorism?

Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi has been freed by Israel after spending eight months in prison for slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank.

Video of the incident 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 trouble-maker.

The Israeli prison service says she is on her way back to the West Bank.

Sixteen at the time, she originally faced 12 charges, but pleaded guilty in March to four charges including 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.

In the footage she kicks one soldier and slaps his face, and threatens to punch the other.

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Palestinian supporters around the world called for Tamimi (R) to be released

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 that he sustained it from falling off a bike.

Sharp divide

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

Following the incident, Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett said she deserved to “finish their lives in prison”.

Many Israelis say Ahed Tamimi has long been exploited by her family, who they accuse of using her to try to provoke Israeli soldiers on film.

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.

For Palestinians, she has become a national icon for what they see as acts of bravery in standing up to armed soldiers on occupied land.

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.

Ahed Tamimi: Israel frees Palestinian viral slap video teen}

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