Activists in the Netherlands changed street names in 13 Dutch cities who “woke up with an additional street name” on 23 March; placards and street signs had been placed around the cities labeling important thoroughfares “Ahed Tamimi street.” MovementX and DocP, two Dutch organizations that advocate for Palestinian rights, posted the grassroots street signs in Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Groningen, Leeuwarden, Grijpskerk, Assen, Leiden, Heemstede, Tilburg, Vlaardingen and Nijmegen.
The activists sought to highlight the sentencing of Ahed, 17, a Palestinian teen activist sentenced to eight months in Israeli prison by the Ofer military court on 21 March.
“For a small act of resistance against an Israeli soldier who was illegally in the yard of her house, she was sentenced to 8 months in prison and a hefty fine. Her family members received similar punishments. On the same day, the Israeli soldier Azaria who had shot a Palestinian man in the head in 2016 who was already dying from a bullet wound, saw his sentence reduced from 8 to 9 months. The activists are outraged that the Dutch government so far did not not exercise significant pressure on Israel for Tamimi’s release,” said MovementX and docP in a press release.
Ahed Tamimi’s case received worldwide publicity and attention after she was seized by Israeli occupation forces in December 2017. Ahed and her family are leaders in the indigenous anti-colonial resistance and land defense in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh, under attack by occupation forces and the illegal settlement of Halamish. Ahed, then 16, was seized by occupation forces in a pre-dawn raid on her family home in Nabi Saleh by occupation forces days after a video streamed on Facebook by her mother, Nariman Tamimi, documented her confrontation of an Israeli soldier. Ahed slapped the soldier, demanding that the heavily armed occupation forces leave her family’s land. Hours later, her mother Nariman was arrested as well.
The organizers noted a particular likeness to Hannie Schaft, a heroine of the Dutch antifascist resistance. “Both are praised for their courage, and their striking hair. Hannie Schaft, herself a communist, was given the nickname ‘The girl with the red hair.’ Ahed Tamimi is famous for her striking blond curls and her free-spirited behaviour. In Leiden, therefore, Ahed Tamimi’s nameplate is placed in the Hannie Schaftstraat, joined to the nameplate of Hannie Schaft.”