Saturday Jan 06, 2018
NABI SALEH: Israel on Friday released a Palestinian woman on bail after she was charged with assaulting an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank following a viral video of the incident.
Nour Tamimi, 20, was released early on Friday from a military prison after a court rejected the prosecution's appeal against her release, her father Naji Tamimi told AFP.
She was arrested on December 20, a day after her cousin Ahed Tamimi, 16, was detained in the wake of a viral video showing them slapping and kicking two soldiers the previous week.
Ahed and her mother Nariman Tamimi remain in custody.
Nour was allowed to return to her home in the village of Nabi Saleh, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, after posting a bail of 5,000 shekels ($1,450, 1,200 euros).
A guarantor vouched that she would show up for her court proceedings, set to begin on February 12, her lawyer Gaby Lasky told AFP.
She was welcomed home by family and friends and the governor of Ramallah, Laila Ghanam.
"The first day (in prison) was the hardest because it was a new experience for me. I had no idea what was going to become of me," Nour said.
"It's true that my father used to tell me so many stories, but going through something new always has an impact on you."
She said her Israeli interrogator threatened to have her father and brother arrested and the family home demolished unless she answered his questions.
"He bullied me, he would slam his fist on the table," she said. "He told me, 'speak or I'll blow up your house'."
"I don't regret anything. On the contrary, this experience has made me stronger," Nour added. "I met new people and I heard stories from the girls (other women who were detained)."
The military appeals court ruled Nour would also have to sign in at an Israeli police station every Friday at noon.
On Sunday, a military court charged Nour with aggravated assault of a soldier and disturbing soldiers carrying out their duties.
Ahed's family says the December 15 incident that led to the charges occurred in the yard of their home in Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah.
The scuffle took place during a day of protests against US President Donald Trump's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Relatives say that a member of the Tamimi family was shot in the head with a rubber bullet during those protests.
Israel's military said the soldiers were in the area to prevent Palestinians from throwing stones at Israeli motorists nearby.
A video that was shared widely on social media shows the cousins approaching two Israeli soldiers and telling them to leave before shoving, kicking and slapping them.
The heavily armed soldiers do not respond in the face of what appears to be an attempt to provoke rather than seriously harm them.
They then move back after Ahed's mother Nariman becomes involved.
On Monday, Ahed was charged with 12 counts, including assault. Her mother faces five charges, including incitement.
Ahed has been lauded as a hero by Palestinians who see her as bravely standing up to Israel's 50-year occupation of the West Bank.
She has been involved in a series of previous confrontations, leading Israelis to accuse her family of using her as a pawn in staged provocations.
Palestinians, however, say she is engaged in legitimate resistance.
Ahed and her mother are to remain in custody until at least Monday when they will face another hearing.