Ahed Tamimi in a courtroom at the Ofer military prison near Jerusalem, Feb. 13, 2018.
Ahed Tamimi in a courtroom at the Ofer military prison near Jerusalem, Feb. 13, 2018. Photo: AP/Ariel Schalit

Hope for Palestinians in Release of Imprisoned Child

The impending release of Ahed Tamimi, a 17-year-old Palestinian activist, provides an element of hope for Palestinians, says Steve Berube, who led the No Way to Treat a Child workshop that was part of the Festival of Faith prelude to the United Church General Council meeting.

That workshop highlighted the plight of arrested Palestinian children, and the new education and advocacy partnership between The United Church of Canada and Defense for Children International – Palestine (a Mission & Service partner).

Berube was responding to news from Jerusalem that Tamimi is to be released on Sunday, after serving her sentence for assaulting Israeli soldiers.

Tamimi is from Nabi Salih, a small Palestinian village 20 kilometres northwest of Ramallah in the West Bank. She has become something of an icon after being filmed slapping an Israeli soldier on the day her 14-year-old younger cousin was shot in the face at point-blank range, using a rubber tipped steel bullet, by a member of the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces).

Initially detained for three months, in March she was sentenced to eight months of jail time following a plea bargain.

“She is young and articulate, and even at such an early age, she is very experienced and knowledgeable about the horrors and the effects of the occupation on her people,” said Berube.

“She may be a new voice of resistance and peace with justice,” added Berube, a General Council commissioner from Maritime Conference, and chair of the United Network for Justice & Peace in Palestine & Israel.