Israel arrests 3 on defiant teen mural

AFP
Israeli forces have arrested two Italians and a Palestinian for drawing a giant mural of a Palestinian teenager seen as a symbol of resistance on the separation wall.
AFP
AFP

A Palestinian walks past a mural painted on Israel's controversial separation barrier in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on July 29, 2018, drawn by Italian artist Jorit Agoch, depicting Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi. Tamimi, who has become a Palestinian symbol for the struggle against the Israeli occupation, was released from prison on July 29 after nearly eight months. Agoch was arrested the day before for 'vandalising' the barrier.

Israeli forces have arrested two Italians and a Palestinian for drawing a giant mural of a Palestinian teenager seen as a symbol of resistance on the separation wall in the occupied West Bank, police said.

The four-meter image near Bethlehem in the West Bank depicts Ahed Tamimi, 17, who was released from prison on Sunday after an eight-month sentence for slapping two Israeli soldiers.

On Saturday, Israeli border police arrested two Italians and a Palestinian “on suspicion of damaging and vandalizing the security fence in the Bethlehem area,” a statement said.

The three, whose faces were masked, “illegally drew on the wall, and when border policemen took action to arrest them, they tried to escape in their car, which was stopped by the forces,” the statement said.

On Wednesday, a man drawing the mural had identified himself as Italian street artist Jorit Agoch. A message was posted to a Facebook page under his name saying he had been arrested and pleading for help.

The Italian foreign ministry said on Sunday it was in contact with Israeli authorities. By Sunday afternoon the three were still being held.

At the same time, Tamimi and her mother Nariman were taken from the Sharon prison inside Israel to their home village of Nabi Saleh in the occupied West Bank after serving their sentences.

The separation wall cutting the West Bank off from Israel is filled with graffiti in support of the Palestinian cause.

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