Hundreds on Friday gathered inside of Grand Central Terminal in New York, demanding the release of the 16 year old Palestinian activist Ahed al-Tamimi who was taken into custody by Israeli soldiers two week ago.
Protestors chanted and carried banners reading “Release Ahed Tamimi Now”, “US has to stop helping Israel” and “Palestinian prisoners needs to be released”.
In a press release handed out during the demonstration, Israel was accused of illegally detaining her and information was given about her family’s activism which includes them also being shot by Israeli soldiers in the past. The event ended without incident.
Ahed and her mother who was detained by Israeli forces during an overnight raid in the occupied West Bank two weeks ago, is well known for her bold activism for a free Palestine.
Videos and pictures of Ahed confronting and slapping Israeli soldiers have gone viral for weeks.
The teenager and her mother Nariman were ordered to be detained behind bars for an additional eight days by Ofer Court Monday, located near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
The statement said Ahed had been accused of five offenses, including “assaulting an Israeli soldier, assault and throwing rocks at security forces, and other felonies”.
“Ahed is also accused of opposing the work of the army, participating in rebellious demonstrations and encouraging others to participate in these, and her mother Nariman is accused of involvement in the same events and encouraging participation in these activities from her Facebook account.”
The reason for the extension of the detention period is continued interrogation, the statement added.
Ahed’s cousin Nour was released on bail for 48 hours.
Footage from a Dec. 15 confrontation with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh showed Ahed and Nour approaching two soldiers before shoving, kicking and slapping them.
Nariman also pushes the soldiers.
On Dec. 19, Israeli forces detained Ahed in Nabi Saleh. Her mother and cousin were arrested shortly afterward.
The latest case is not Ahed’s first brush with the Israeli authorities. In 2012, Istanbul’s Basaksehir Municipality awarded her the Hanzala Courage Award for defying Israeli soldiers who had just arrested her brother.
Then Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Ahed to personally convey his admiration.
On Dec. 6, U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, drawing condemnation from across the Arab and Muslim world and sparking angry protests across the Palestinian territories.
Since then, at least 15 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured in clashes with security forces in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.