Palestinian protest icon Tamimi released from Israeli prison

1 / 4
Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi and her mother Nareman walk out after they were released from an Israeli prison, at Nabi Saleh village in the occupied West Bank July 29, 2018. (Reuters/Mohamad Torokman)
2 / 4
Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi is welcomed by relatives and supporters after she was released from an Israeli prison, at Nabi Saleh village in the occupied West Bank July 29, 2018. (Reuters/Mohamad Torokman)
3 / 4
Palestinian activist and campaigner Ahed Tamimi (C) is seen upon he release from prison after an eight-month sentence for slapping two Israeli soldiers, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh on July 29, 2018. (AFP/Abbas Momani)
4 / 4
Palestinian activist and campaigner Ahed Tamimi (C) embraces a woman upon her release from prison after an eight-month sentence for slapping two Israeli soldiers, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh on July 29, 2018. (AFP/Abbas Momani)
Updated 29 July 2018
0

Palestinian protest icon Tamimi released from Israeli prison

  • She was refused bail throughout her detention and subsequent trial in an Israeli military court
  • For Palestinians she is a hero, jailed for standing up to soldiers occupying her land

NABI SALEH, West Bank: Palestinian protest icon Ahed Tamimi returned home to a hero's welcome in her West Bank village on Sunday after Israel released the 17-year-old from prison at the end of her eight-month sentence for slapping and kicking Israeli soldiers.
Ahed and her mother, Nariman Tamimi, were greeted with banners, cheers and Palestinian flags as they entered the home village of Nabi Saleh.
Ahed was arrested in December after she slapped two Israeli soldiers outside her family home. Her mother filmed the incident and posted it on Facebook, where it went viral and, for many, instantly turned Ahed into a symbol of resistance to Israel's half-century-old military rule over the Palestinians. With her unruly mop of curly light-colored hair, the Palestinian teen quickly became an icon and an internationally recognizable figure.
In Israel, however, she is seen by many as either as a provocateur, an irritation or a threat to the military's deterrence policy.
In Nabi Saleh, supporters welcomed Tamimi home with Palestinian flags planted on the roof of her home. Hundreds of chairs were set up for well-wishers in the courtyard.
"The resistance continues until the occupation is removed," Ahed said upon her return. "All the female prisoners are steadfast. I salute everyone who supported me and my case."
From her home, Ahed headed to a visit to the grave of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
Her father, Bassem Tamimi, said he expects her to take a lead in the struggle against Israeli occupation but she is also weighing college options.
In a sign of her popularity, a pair of Italian artists painted a large mural of her on Israel's West Bank separation barrier ahead of her release. Israeli police say they were caught in the act along with another Palestinian and arrested for vandalism.
Ahed was 16 when she was arrested and turned 17 in custody. Her case has trained a spotlight on the detention of Palestinian minors by Israel, a practice that has been criticized by international rights groups. Some 300 minors are currently being held, according to Palestinian figures.
Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war. Palestinians are increasingly disillusioned about efforts to establish a state in those territories, after more than two decades of failed negotiations with Israel.

NOW READ: Italians who painted portrait of Palestinian teen on Israel’s separation wall arrested


Syria flare-up kills 35 fighters, including 26 pro-regime forces

Updated 16 June 2019
0

Syria flare-up kills 35 fighters, including 26 pro-regime forces

  • Russian-backed regime forces try to retake villages seized by opposition forces and allied fighters
  • The clashes also left 26 pro-regime forces dead in the north of Hama province

 

BEIRUT: At least 10 civilians and 35 combatants, mostly pro-regime forces, were killed on Saturday in clashes and airstrikes that erupted at dawn in northwestern Syria, a war monitor said.

The flare-up came as Russian-backed regime forces tried to retake two villages seized by opposition forces and allied fighters earlier this month, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“Since this morning, the Syrian regime and allied fighters have launched five failed attempts to regain control of Jibine and Tal Maleh in northwestern Hama province,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.

Syrian regime airstrikes killed nine opposition fighters, the war monitor said.

Ensuing clashes in the north of Hama province left 26 pro-regime forces dead, including eight who were killed in a mine explosion, the Observatory said.

In neighboring Idlib, regime airstrikes killed 10 civilians, including three children, the Observatory said.

The strikes hit the towns of Maaret Al-Numan and Al-Bara as well as the village of Al-Ftira, according to the war monitor.

The Idlib region of some 3 million people is supposed to be protected from a massive regime offensive by a buffer zone deal that Russia and Turkey signed in September.

But it was never fully implemented, as opposition refused to withdraw from a planned demilitarized zone.

In January, the Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham alliance led by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate extended its administrative control over the region, which includes most of Idlib province as well as adjacent slivers of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces.

The Syrian regime and Russia have upped their bombardment of the region since late April, killing nearly 400 civilians, according to the Observatory.

Turkey said on Friday that it did not accept Russia’s “excuse” that it had no ability to stop the Syrian regime’s continued bombardments in the last opposition bastion of Idlib.

“In Syria, who are the regime’s guarantors? Russia and Iran,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told state news agency Anadolu in a televised interview.

“Thus we do not accept the excuse that ‘We cannot make the regime listen to us’,” he said.

His comments came as Turkey disagreed with Russia earlier this week after Moscow claimed a new cease-fire had been secured in the province following weeks of regime bombardments — a claim that was denied by Ankara.

Syria’s war has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with the repression of anti-regime protests.

Russia launched a military intervention in support of the regime in 2015, helping its forces reclaim large parts of the country from opposition fighters and militants.