A Palestinian teenager released by Israel on Sunday after completing a prison term for kicking and slapping an Israeli soldier said she wanted to become a lawyer so she could continue her struggle against the occupation of the West Bank.
Ahed Tamimi, 17, became a hero to Palestinians after the incident last December outside her home in Nabi Saleh, a village that has for years campaigned against land seizures by Israel, leading to confrontations with the Israeli military and Jewish settlers.
Israelis regarded the incident, which Tamimi’s mother relayed live on Facebook, as a staged provocation.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas described Tamimi as “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”.
He made the statement published by the official news agency Wafa after he met Tamimi and her mother.
Wearing her trademark black-and-white chequered Arab scarf when she returned home, Tamimi greeted dozens of well-wishers. Outside the home of a villager killed by Israeli forces, she urged continued struggle against Israel’s occupation.
At a news conference later, she spoke in front of a bare two-pronged tree that had been shaped like a giant slingshot, with the trunk covered in a Palestinian flag and with a tyre at its base.