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Ahed Tamimi speaks out on Israeli threats after release

Palestinian icon Ahed Tamimi speaks out on Israeli threats after release from prison
2 min read
30 November, 2023
The 22-year-old activist shares harrowing experience of imprisonment- including an alleged blackmail by Israeli forces to have her father killed, following her prison release.
Newly released activist Ahed Tamimi speaks to reporters during a welcome ceremony following the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails [Getty]

Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi spoke out following her release from Israel's Damon Prison on Friday, addressing threats by Israeli forces to have her father killed.

Tamimi was among 30 other women and children who were freed in the sixth prisoner exchange swap, issued by a temporary Gaza truce between Israel and Hamas, since it was first decreed on 24 November. 

Tamimi spoke to reporters about her recent ordeal on the night of her release.

She said Israeli officials had warned her to avoid speaking publicly about any details of her detention, or severe consequences would take place against one of her loved ones. 

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“When [Israeli forces] processed my release, they threatened me with my father,” Tamimi said. 

“They told me: 'We have your father. If you say anything, we will kill him here'.” 

Tamimi’s father, Bassem Tamimi, who is a veteran protest organiser and community leader, is still currently imprisoned without charge. 

She also described conditions for the female prisoners and said that there was "no food, water and clothes" and that the women were in a "very bad state". Tamimi, like several other recently released Palestinians, said prisoners were tortured by authorities. 

Tamimi rose to prominence in 2017 when she slapped an Israeli soldier who raided her West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. She and her family members have for years protested Israeli land seizures in the area. 

After slapping the soldier, the 16-year-old Tamimi was sentenced to eight months in prison upon pleading guilty to reduced charges that included assault. 

Israeli forces earlier this month arrested the famed author for alleged incitement of violence. Tamimi’s mother has denied the charge, saying the accusation is based on a fake social media post.

Tamimi is one of hundreds in the occupied West Bank who have been arrested as violence has flared in the territory due to Israel’s war on Gaza. 

Under a truce set to expire on Thursday, Israel has released Palestinians from its jails in exchange for Hamas' release of some of the 240 hostages it captured during its October 7 rampage in southern Israel.