Newly-released Palestinian teen activist Tamimi says she has a 'political future'

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ISTANBUL
Published 30.07.2018 17:26
Updated 30.07.2018 17:37
Palestinian activist and campaigner Ahed Tamimi speaks during a press conference on the outskirts of the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh on July 29, 2018, upon her release from prison after an eight-month sentence. (AFP Photo)
Palestinian activist and campaigner Ahed Tamimi speaks during a press conference on the outskirts of the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh on July 29, 2018, upon her release from prison after an eight-month sentence. (AFP Photo)

Teenage Palestinian protester Ahed Tamimi has vowed to keep demonstrating against the Israeli occupation and says she expects to have a "political future," without elaborating.

Tamimi spoke to The Associated Press on Monday after serving an eight-month sentence for slapping two Israeli soldiers in an incident captured on film that has made her an icon among Palestinians and their supporters.

She said she hopes to pursue a law degree in order to document human rights violations.

The curly-haired 17-year-old struck the soldiers outside her West Bank home in frustration after learning that troops wounded a cousin in nearby clashes. Israel views her as a provocateur.

Her case sparked debate over what constitutes legitimate resistance to Israel's half-century rule over the Palestinians.

Meanwhile, two Italian artists left Israel on Monday after they were arrested for painting a mural of Tamimi on a wall that separates Israel from the West Bank.

Jorit Agoch and Salvatore De Luise were arrested on Saturday for "damaging and vandalizing the security fence," Israeli police said.

They were given 72 hours to leave the country by the Israeli Population and Immigration Authority.

The pair's lawyer, Azmi Masalha, said they left Monday morning on a flight to Naples. They are forbidden to enter the country for the next ten years, Masalha said, adding that he will appeal the travel restriction.

International and Palestinian activists often paint murals along sections of the barrier that Israel built to separate Palestinian areas from Israel. However, arrests are rare.

Tamimi's case has drawn international attention and she received a hero's welcome when she was released from prison on Sunday.

The lawyer, Masalha, said the artists drew the mural in a sign of "solidarity" with Tamimi.

Masalha said he viewed with suspicion the artists' arrest when there are countless works of graffiti on the separation barrier and questioned the timing so close to Tamimi's release.

"They were arrested on the fourth day of carrying out this graffiti painting despite the fact that there is an observation tower of the military there and they were under this observation point from the first day and it's interesting as to why this incident occurred on the fourth day," he said.

Masalha said diplomatic officials from Italy were involved in securing the artists' release.

Three recent posts on an Instagram account believed to be Agoch's had a photo of the mural in progress, a photo of an Israeli police vehicle and a black and white handwritten note reading: "Free thank all of you."

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