On Sunday in Israel, 17-year-old
Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi was released from prison after eight months, along with her mother, Nariman Tamimi. The teenage activist went viral last year when a video was posted showed her kicking and slapping an Israeli soldier in the West Bank, according to BBC. Nariman had live-streamed the incident on Facebook. Tamimi was 16 when she was arrested in December and was facing 12 charges, according to Reuters. The BBC reported that Tamimi said she saw the soldiers shoot her 15-year-old cousin with a rubber bullet earlier in the day. In March, the young activist pleaded guilty to reduced number of charges, including assault.
"I learned a lot. I learned how to stay patient, to be in a group. I did my best to use the time to study.
I came out more educated, and understand the world better than when I went in," Tamimi told The New York Times in an interview shortly after her release.
she plans to study law with a goal of holding Israel accountable for the occupation of the West Bank. "I will continue my university tuition and I will study law so that I can address the cause of my country in all of the international forums and to be able to represent the prisoners’ cause," Tamimi said at a press conference, Reuters reported. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Tamimi and her family in Ramallah. In a statement provided by WAFA, the official Palestinian news agency, Abbas called Tamimi "a model of the Palestinian struggle for freedom, independence and statehood."
Tamimi Is Released From Prison
Heidi Levine/SIPA/Shutterstock Tamimi is released from prison after eight months.
"It means a lot for me to see the world reaction. It raised my spirits. It showed me that being in jail wasn’t for nothing. I wish [to] continue doing things to help prisoners until they [are] released," Tamimi told NBC News after her release.
Tamimi Is Led Through A Crowd Of Supporters & Journalists
Tamimi is led through a crowd following her release from an Israeli prison on Sunday morning. Dozens of supporters waited for her at a checkpoint in the West Bank, according to NBC News.
Ahed Tamimi Prays At Yasser Arafat's Tomb
Tamimi prays at former Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat's tomb on Sunday in the West Bank. She visited the leader's tomb before returning to her hometown.
Tamimi & Her Mother Pray At Relatives' Graves
Tamimi and her mother Nariman pray at their relatives' graves after arriving back at their home in Nabi Saleh. Before her release, more than 1.7 million people signed
a petition calling for Tamimi's release.
Tamimi Dons Her Signature White & Black Scarf
Tamimi is pictured smiling after her release from an Israeli prison. Tamimi is wearing
her signature black-and-white scarf.
She told the crowds that greeted her and her mother in their hometown that they will keep fighting. "I am very happy, but my happiness will be complete when all prisoners released," she said.
She Stresses The Importance Of Education To Her Resistance
Tamimi told the
Times that education will be very important moving forward. "Of course I’m not going to forget the cause, but I’m going to invest in my studies, because knowledge is the strongest weapon for a struggler," Tamimi told the newspaper.
Tamimi & Her Mother Address Their Supporters
Tamimi and her mother Nariman address their supporters at a press conference in their hometown. According to the
Times, their village has been doing weekly protests against Israel for a decade.
Tamimi Is Welcomed By Palestinian President Abbas
THAER GHANAIM HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Palestinian President Abbas greets Tamimi following her release from prison on Sunday. "The popular and peaceful style of struggle that Ahed Tamimi and her village and nearby villages have been practicing, proves to the world that our people will remain steadfast in this land, defending it no matter how much needs to be sacrificed,"
Abbas said of Tamimi's actions, according to Time.
Tamimi & Her Father Are All Smiles Following Her Release
Tamimi and her father, Bassem, smile and hug after a press conference in Nabi Saleh on Sunday. The
Times reported that Bassem and other members of Tamimi's family have also gone to prison.
The young activist said she doesn't regret what happened. "I didn't do anything wrong that I should regret," she told the
Times. "At the end of the day, the soldier came to my house. I didn't go to his house."