Palestinian protest icon Ahed Tamimi freed from jail

Ahed Tamimi.
Ahed Tamimi. Photo credit: Getty

Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenage girl turned protest symbol who was filmed hitting Israeli soldiers last year, has been released after serving an almost eight-month prison sentence.

Israeli prisons spokesman Assaf Librati said Ms Tamimi, 17, and her mother Nariman who was also jailed over the incident, had been released and were being taken to the West Bank on Sunday.

Ms Tamimi has been touted by Palestinians as a symbol of resistance to Israel's military occupation while many Israelis accuse her of being an agitator seeking to provoke soldiers on camera.

Her case sparked an outpouring of international criticism against Israel and a renewed focus on the treatment of Palestinian youths in Israeli military courts.

Ms Tamimi is scheduled to speak at a press conference in her West Bank hometown, Nabi Saleh.

In a December 2017 video that quickly went viral the then 16-year-old Ms Tamimi is seen slapping and kicking soldiers in the driveway of her home. She was arrested shortly after and accepted an eight-month plea bargain in May.

She was released early for administrative reasons at the discretion of the Israel Prison Service.

"I have been longing for this moment because I missed them a lot," Ms Tamimi's father Bassem told dpa on Thursday.

Mr Tamimi said his family is seeking "to continue normal life" and has stopped the weekly anti-occupation protests in Nabi Saleh where confrontations with Israeli soldiers are common.

However, he added, sometimes "the occupation forces you to resist because there is no other way".

He said his daughter is considering what university to attend and plans to study law.

Reuters