After serving an eight-month prison sentence, Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi was released from an Israeli prison on July 29. Tamimi, who turned 17 while incarcerated, said in an interview that she learned a lot during her time in prison. “I learned how to stay patient, to be in a group. I did my best to use the time to study. I came out more educated, and understand the world better than when I went in.” She is now weighing her college options and plans to study law, saying “I’m going to invest in my studies, because knowledge is the strongest weapon for a struggler.”
Her mother and cousin were arrested during the December clash as well, and her mother was also jailed. Israeli forces shot Tamimi’s 15-year-old cousin in the head with a rubber bullet, which is what sparked the altercation; he was severely injured, but survived. The New York Times reports that for nearly a decade, Tamimi’s village has been holding weekly protests against the Israeli occupation and a nearby water source that the Israelis have taken control of. The Times reports that the protests routinely end with the protestors throwing stones at the Israeli forces.
Tamimi took a plea deal, pleading guilty to assault and incitement, and received eight months in prison, a three-year suspended sentence and a fine. Upon her release from prison, Tamimi seemed determined to continue resisting what she sees as unlawful Israeli occupation and unjust treatment. After her release in the early morning hours, she made her way to the grave of former Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat to pay her respects, met with the current Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and held a press conference in her hometown where she refused to answer questions from members of the Israeli media.
Tamini told the New York Times that resistance is everywhere, not just in physical means, but in art and poems. When asked about her future, and what happens the next time Israeli soldiers show up in her house, she said: “I don’t know what the future holds, and they gave me a suspended sentence to restrict me. But anyone who knows me has a sense of what is going to happen.”
Girl Museum Inc.