Israeli occupation forces barred residents from entering and exiting the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh, in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, Thursday.
According to media reports, Israeli occupation forces were deployed and have entirely closed entrances while forcibly preventing residents from moving freely. Eyewitnesses explained that the closed gates forced them to take longer, alternative routes that they should.
Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi, who has been held in an Israeli prison for slapping a fully armed Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank town of Nabi Saleh, will be released this Sunday, a spokesman for the Israel Prisons Service told The Times of Israel Wednesday.
The official said Ahed would be released along with her mother, Nariman at the Jabara checkpoint near the Palestinian city of Tulkarem. Times of Israel claimed that the two then plan to hold a press conference at the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, which is slated for demolition by Israeli forces.
Further confirming the news Ahed’s family and Palestinian activists were preparing for her release with events and murals on the Israeli separation wall.
“Time is an eternity for those who wait; it is mixed feelings. Our home and hearts are open to reuniting with her; hopefully, we will meet soon,” her father Bassem Tamimi told Reuters Thursday.
“Ahed will finish her sentence time next Sunday. We will be waiting to welcome her at the Jabarah checkpoint, then head for the press conference, then visit Yasser Arafat’s tomb and Martyrs Shrine in Nabi Saleh, after which we will head home to meet people who are welcoming her release.”
Palestinian activist Ahmed Odeh also celebrated Ahed’s early release and said he was surprised by the international solidarity with the Palestinian teen and by the number of activists who arrived in Palestine to welcome her.
“We are surprised by those free people who came from all over the world to paint the photo of the icon of the Palestinian people and the icon of the national resistance on this apartheid wall. They are drawing a mural for Ahed Tamimi in order to tell the world and the occupation that we are partners in this case and that the Palestinian national resistance is the only way to face the arrogant occupation,” Odeh told Reuters Thursday.
The 17-year-old activist was sentenced to eight months in prison after video of her slapping and yelling at an Israeli occupation soldier became viral. Ahed was attempting to force the Israeli soldier out of her family’s house.
Her mother, Nariman, and cousin were also arrested for the same incident.
Her 15-year-old cousin, Mohammed Tamimi had been shot in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet a day before. Tamimi was charged with aggravated assault, obstructing the work of soldiers, and incitement, among other charges on Jan. 2.
The Tamimi family has been constantly targeted due to their active resistance against the expansion of a nearby illegal Israeli settlement named Halamish.
According to Israeli human rights group B’tselem, at least 350 Palestinian children are currently jailed in Israeli prisons.