'I'm happy my daughter has become a resistance icon,' says father of teen Palestinian activist

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By Euronews
Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi in court escorted by Israeli prison officer
Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi in court escorted by Israeli prison officer   -  Copyright  REUTERS/Ammar Awad

The father of a detained teenage Palestinian activist has told Euronews he's pleased and proud she's becoming an icon for Palestinian freedom.

16-year-old Ahed Tamimi is facing assault charges for punching an Israeli soldier in the face outside her family home in the occupied West Bank. The incident occured after what Israel claims was a stone-throwing attack on its troops.

Her father Bassem Tamimi says the case has made headlines worldwide because his daughter doesn't fit with the typical Western image of a Palestinian activist.

"{People} are shocked because she is blond and this has broke with all propaganda that shows Palestinians as a terrorists. They have seen Palestinians who are victims, not useless victims who are struggling but one who's standing up to fight these soldiers. She has nothing in her hands. Nobody can see this and not support that," said Tamimi

"We encourage our daughter and our children to participate in the resistance. We want to make them strong because the occupation is existing in their lives. All our action is non-violent resistance but this does not mean we can't use any other means, in international law we have to resist with any means. If Ahed becomes an icon this will make me happy because we want all, this generation, to hold the flag and to be strong enough to fight for their rights, freedom, justice and peace until they free Palestine from occupation," added Tamimi. "I'm worried because the occupation will continue."

An adult found guilty of assaulting a soldier could be jailed for up to 10 years, but such an outcome would be unlikely for Tamimi as a minor.

The incident occurred at the entrance to the Tamimi family home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, where weekly protests against Israeli settlement policy have been held for years. Tamimi's father is a prominent Palestinian activist.