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Israel detains Italian artists for jailed Tamimi mural

July 29, 2018 at 7:50 am

Italian artist Jorit Agoch paints a mural depicting Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi on Israel’s controversial separation barrier in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, on 25 July,2018 [ Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimges]

Israeli security forces on Saturday detained two Italian artists for painting a mural of the jailed Palestinian teen, Ahed al-Tamimi, on the separation barrier that snakes through the occupied West Bank.

Muhammad al-Lahham, a Palestinian activist, told Anadolu Agency that two Italian activists and a Palestinian man were detained in Bethlehem when the artists were about to finish their painting.

The 17-year-old Palestinian girl has spent the last several months in Israeli police custody.

The whereabouts and identities of the trio remain unknown.

On Friday, the two artists, who preferred not to give their names and who have not made any statements to the press, started to paint a larger-than-life portrait of the detained teen, who has become a symbol of the Palestinian resistance, to express their support for al-Tamimi.

Earlier this year, al-Tamimi was slapped with eight months behind bars for “attacking” an Israeli soldier.

But the teen’s father, Basem al-Tamimi, on Monday voiced hope that his daughter — who was slated for release on Aug. 19 at latest — could be released Sunday.

The Israeli authorities, however, have yet to announce an official release date for the detained teen.

In 2012, Istanbul’s Basaksehir Municipality granted al-Tamimi the prestigious Hanzala Courage Award for defying Israeli soldiers who had just arrested her brother.