Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi was released from Israeli custody after eight months of incarceration. Ahed Tamimi was transported by Israeli authorities from a jail to a checkpoint at Tulkarem, according to prison spokesman Assaf Librati said. She later arrived in her Nabi Saleh village and later held a press conference in front of her home.
Speaking to the press along with her father Bassem and her mother Nariman who was also freed Sunday after eight months in jail on similar charges, Ahed thanked all her supporters and her family members who stood by her and supported her, while also saying that her release felt bitter-sweet because of her Palestinian sisters and friends who remain in Israeli prisons.
"My happiness is not complete without my sisters [Palestinian female prisoners], who are not with me. I hope that they will also be free," Ahed told local and international reporters Sunday hours after her release.
"In the end I want to say that the power is with the people, and the people will and can decide their destiny and decide the future. Women are a key part of the Palestinian struggle for freedom, and the women’s role will continue to expand, not only in the struggle but by producing new generations that can continue the struggle. We say: 'Leave, leave occupation .'"
She added that she was planning to pursue a career in law in order to "hold the occupation accountable".
Earlier in the day the teen held a brief press conference, to address the waiting press, after her release from Israeli custody. Residents of Nabi Saleh, the teen's home, raised a Palestinian flag in anticipation of Tamimi's arrival. "The resistance will continue until the end of the occupation," Tamimi said upon her release.
The renowned Palestinian became a significant figure of the resistance after standing up to Israeli forces. A spokesman for the Israel Prisons Service told The Times of Israel Wednesday, a day after her father Bassem Tamimi made a similar claim, that the teen would be released.
Bassem told the Turkish state media, Anadolu Agency, Tuesday that Ahed was scheduled to be released on August 19, but stated that he expects an earlier release date. “The Israeli authorities usually do not inform the detainee or his family of the date of release, but I think she will get a decision” to reduce her detention by 21 days, the senior Tamimi explained.
Reports surfaced Thursday that Israeli occupation forces barred residents from entering and exiting the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh - where the Tamimi's live. Israeli forces were deployed to close off entrances and exits as well as restrict the movement of residents ahead of the teen's release.
On Saturday, Israeli border police arrested two Italian graffiti artists and a Palestinian – who were painting a 13-foot mural of the jailed Palestinian activist, on an Israeli separation barrier in Bethlehem, according to Palestinian officials.
Tamimi was arrested on December 19, 2017, days after being filmed – with her cousin Nour Tamimi – slapping and kicking two Israeli soldiers who had invaded the Tamimi home, near Ramallah.
The 17-year-old – who celebrated a birthday while behind bars – garnered international attention and major support from high-profile artists, actors, academics and athletes across the globe.