Palestinian Ahed Tamimi freed from jail

Palestinian Ahed Tamimi freed from jail

Ahed Tamimi, the 17-year-old Palestinian who slapped an Israeli soldier in her home village, has been released from prison.

Israeli police say they were caught in the act along with another Palestinian and arrested for vandalism.

From a young age, Ahed had regularly taken part in protests against Israeli military occupation and the presence of an Israeli settlement just 200 metres away from her family home, built on what was once the village farmlands of Nabi Saleh.

With her unruly mop of curly light-coloured hair, the Palestinian teenager quickly became a local hero and an internationally recognisable figure.

The Israelis viewed the incident, relayed by her mother live on Facebook, as a staged provocation.

There she is seen by many as either as a provocateur, an irritation or a threat to the military's deterrence policy. Israel has treated her actions as a criminal offense, indicting her on charges of assault and incitement.

In the wake of the assault, Education Minister Naftali Bennet said he would like to see her in jail for the rest of her life, while another MP said he would like to "hit her in the face".

Her family's home has been decorated with Palestinian flags and hundreds of chairs await well-wishers. "All the female prisoners in jail are strong, and I thank everyone who stood by me while I was in prison".

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From the Rantis checkpoint, Tamimi headed to the tomb of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Ramallah, where she laid some flowers.

Ahed has participated in such marches from a young age, and has had several highly publicised run-ins with soldiers.

Israel maintains control over most of the West Bank, where the Palestinians have limited self-rule.

An Israeli police spokesman did not return a call for comment.

Her mother Nariman was also arrested, as was her cousin Nour.

Her case sparked an outpouring of worldwide criticism against Israel and a renewed focus on the treatment of Palestinian youths in Israeli military courts. Local human rights groups say more than 300 minors are now being held.

Palestinians want the West Bank for a future state, along with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

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