Home » Activist Ahed Tamimi Among 50 Jailed Palestinians Listed for Release by Israel
Africa Crime Featured Global News Middle East News North Africa Terrorism

Activist Ahed Tamimi Among 50 Jailed Palestinians Listed for Release by Israel

Another 50 Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli jails have been put forward as candidates for release after the hostage swap and ceasefire deal with Hamas in the Gaza Strip was extended for another two days – including the high-profile activist Ahed Tamimi.

Tamimi, 22, was on the list released by Israel’s justice ministry on Tuesday. The writer, part of a prominent family from the West Bank village of Nabi Salih, has been a symbol of resistance against the Israeli occupation for protest action and confronting Israeli soldiers since she was about 11 years old.

Tamimi was sentenced to eight months in prison for slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier in 2017 after her 15-year-old cousin was shot in the head with a rubber bullet during a protest. The incident was filmed, propelling the then-16-year-old to worldwide fame.

She was re-arrested in November this year for alleged incitement on social media in the aftermath of the 7 October attack by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which killed 1,200 Israelis and triggered the new war in Gaza that has killed almost 14,000 Palestinians and caused a devastating humanitarian crisis.

Monday’s releases brought the number of Israeli hostages freed from Gaza to 51, as well as 19 people of other nationalities. So far, 150 Palestinian women and children have been released. The deal contains a clause extending the ceasefire by 24 hours for every 10 additional freed Israelis, in exchange for 30 Palestinians.

The Palestinian prisoners released so far have been mostly teenagers accused of throwing stones or firebombs during confrontations with Israeli forces, although some have been convicted of attempted murder, including stabbings, and manufacturing explosives.

According to UN data, one in five Palestinians spends time in Israeli prison at some point after trials in a military court system with a conviction rate of more than 98%.

Before the swaps began last week, the Palestinian Prisoners Society said that 7,200 prisoners were held by Israel, among them 88 women and 250 children.

Many on the initial list of 300 potential candidates for release are held in administrative detention, which allows for pre-emptive arrest, on secret evidence, and six-month extendable stints in prison without charge or trial. Israel has arrested an additional 3,260 Palestinians, including 120 women and more than 200 children, since 7 October.

The Israeli military said she was suspected of inciting violence and calling for terrorist activity. The arrest appears to be in relation to a post on Instagram from an account in Tamimi’s name referencing Adolf Hitler and vowing to “slaughter” Israelis.

The Tamimi family have maintained that Ahed did not write the post, claiming it was either from one of the many dozens of accounts impersonating her, or the result of a hack, which they said has happened before.

Their daughter’s potential release on Tuesday comes at a crucial time: her lawyer said that Israel had been planning to move Tamimi to administrative detention, three weeks after her arrest.

The latest batch of Palestinian releases brought particular relief for the Hammad family of occupied East Jerusalem, whose 16-year-old daughter, Nofuz, was due to be released two days earlier before she disappeared in Israeli custody for two days, and was transferred back to prison, before finally being freed around midnight on Monday. She was jailed in 2021 for 12 years for stabbing an Israeli woman, who suffered minor injuries.

“She was handcuffed and she shouted: ‘Papa, Papa’. She did not expect to see me … We cried and hugged, the joy was indescribable,” her father, Jad, 47, said.

The extension of the truce by 48 hours has been welcomed in Israel and Gaza as well as Jerusalem and the West Bank.

But there are fears of a return to fighting when the deadline expires on Thursday morning, threatening more civilian casualties, displacement and destruction.

Israeli leaders have sworn repeatedly to secure the release of the approximately 240 hostages taken by Hamas last month but also to “crush” the militant Islamist organisation.

On Tuesday afternoon, reports emerged from the blockaded Gaza Strip that several Israeli soldiers had been injured by explosions and small arms fire, the first serious violation of the ceasefire since it came into force on Friday.

Source: The Guardian