Ahed Tamimi: Face of an angel, heart of a lion

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Ahed Tamimi speaks during a press conference on the outskirts of the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh near the West Bank city of Ramallah on July 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
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Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi speaks during a news conference after she was released from an Israeli prison, in the Nabi Saleh village in the West Bank on July 29, 2018. (REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)
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Ahed Tamimi waves after she visited the tomb of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in the West Bank city of Ramallah on July 29, 2018. (AP)
Updated 30 July 2018
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Ahed Tamimi: Face of an angel, heart of a lion

  • Ahed was sentenced in March to eight months in prison for slapping an Israeli soldier outside her home
  • Ahed spent her time in jail studying, and she now wants to study law and to focus on holding the occupation accountable through legal means

AMMAN: After eight months in an Israeli jail she emerged with her head held high and her eyes blazing defiance. 

“Inqalie ya ihtilal” — in Palestinian slang, “May the occupation be uprooted” — said Ahed Tamimi, 17, her fist raised and her blonde hair flurrying, as a crowd of wellwishers welcomed her on her return home to the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.

Ahed was sentenced in March to eight months in prison for slapping an Israeli soldier outside her home, backdated to when she was first detained in December.

Released two weeks early, her first task was to visit the grave of Yasser Arafat, where she kissed the late Palestinian leader’s tomb.

Ahed spent her time in jail studying, and she now wants to study law and to focus on holding the occupation accountable through legal means.

“I learned in jail how to communicate the message of my people, I learned to be patient, to love life and also I learned the importance of working together,” she said.

“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.

“Prison taught me a lot of things, I was able to figure out the right way to deliver the message of my homeland.

 “Peace is all of us living in peace and equality without borders and occupation, with justice as our universal reference point.”

Brian Reeves, the spokesman for Peace Now, told Arab News Ahed’s story was a classic case of double standards and self-defeatism. “Time and again, settlers are caught on camera violently attacking soldiers and the government doesn’t lift a finger.” 

Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian ambassador to Washington who has been recalled to Ramallah after the US embassy move to Jerusalem, said Ahed humanized the Palestinian cause. 

“For years we have suffered from the fact that our martyrs and prisoners were nothing more than numbers. Now we have a global phenomenon who can represent our suffering, our struggle and our aspirations.”

Khaled Abu Arafeh, a former Palestinian minister of Jerusalem affairs, told Arab News that Ahed’s release was a victory for Palestinians who have united generation after generation to fight the occupiers. 


Israel gives Bedouin villagers until end of month to leave

Updated 23 September 2018
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Israel gives Bedouin villagers until end of month to leave

  • Israel’s supreme court on September 5 rejected appeals against demolition, allowing authorities to move ahead
  • ‘No one will leave. We will have to be expelled by force’

JERUSALEM: Israeli authorities issued a notice to residents of a Bedouin village in a strategic spot in the occupied West Bank on Sunday informing them they have until the end of the month to leave.
The fate of Khan Al-Ahmar has drawn international concern, with European countries calling on Israel not to move ahead with plans to demolish it.
Israel’s supreme court on September 5 rejected appeals against demolition, allowing authorities to move ahead.
Israel says the village was built without the proper permits, though it is extremely difficult for Palestinians to receive such permission in that part of the West Bank.
The notice given to the some 200 residents of Khan Al-Ahmar on Sunday says they have until the end of the month to demolish the village themselves.
“Pursuant to a supreme court ruling, residents of Khan Al-Ahmar received a notice today requiring them to demolish all the structures on the site by October 1st, 2018,” a statement from the Israeli defense ministry unit that oversees civilian affairs in the West Bank said.
It did not say what will happen if they refuse to do so. Village residents vowed not to leave despite the notice.
“No one will leave. We will have to be expelled by force,” said village spokesman Eid Abu Khamis, adding that a residents’ meeting would be held later on the issue.
“If the Israeli army comes to demolish, it will only be by force.”
The village is located in a strategic spot east of Jerusalem, near Israeli settlements and along a road leading to the Dead Sea.
There have been warnings that continued settlement building in the area would eventually divide the West Bank in two, dealing a death blow to any remaining hopes of a two-state solution.
Israeli authorities have offered alternative sites for Khan Al-Ahmar residents, but villagers say the first was near a rubbish dump and the latest close to a sewage treatment plant.