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Palestinian Teen Who Went Viral For Slapping IDF Soldier Freed From Israeli Jail

REUTERS/Ammar Awad

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A Palestinian teenager was released from an Israeli jail Sunday after serving over seven months for assaulting Israel Defense Forces soldiers in December 2017.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Tamimi, who was 16 at the time of the arrest, “a model of peaceful civil resistance … proving to the world that our Palestinian people will stand firm and constant on their land, no matter what the sacrifice,” Reuters reported on Sunday.

Tamimi and her mother were arrested after her mother posted a video to Facebook of Ahed slapping and kicking two IDF soldiers. Israeli officials accused the teen of being a pawn of her parents over her previous attacks and moves of resistance. (RELATED: Palestinian Teen In Custody For Slapping IDF Soldiers [VIDEO])

Tamimi bit an IDF soldier in 2015 to prevent her brother from being arrested, and in 2012, she was welcomed to Turkey by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan after seeing a picture of her raising a fist to an IDF soldier when she was 12.

The young girl was seen as a brave symbol of resistance over the incident, but in Israel she is known as a rebellious threat to the military’s deterrence policy.

Dozens of supporters welcomed her release outside the home of a young Nabi Saleh villager who was Israeli forces killed in June.

“From this martyr’s house, I say, ‘resistance is continuing until the occupation is removed,'” she told reporters, according to Reuters. “All the female prisoners in jail are strong, and I thank everyone who stood by me while I was in prison.”

Amnesty International criticized Tamimi’s arrest and said that imprisonment of a minor should only be used as a last resort and for the shortest period of time.

Tamimi’s actions are an example of what happens when Israel is too lenient on Palestinian protestors, Israeli Cabinet minister Uri Ariel said, according to The New York Times.

“I think Israel acts too mercifully with these types of terrorists. Israel should treat harshly those who hit its soldiers,” he said. “We can’t have a situation where there is no deterrence. Lack of deterrence leads to the reality we see now … we must change that.”

Italian artists painted a mural of Tamimi in the West Bank ahead of her release from jail, The Times reported.

She has scheduled a press conference for Sunday afternoon.

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