Occupied Jerusalem: Israeli occupation forces have arrested two Italians for drawing a giant mural of a Palestinian teenager seen as a symbol of resistance on the separation barrier in the occupied West Bank, police said.
The roughly four-metre image near Bethlehem in the West Bank depicts Ahed Tamimi, 17, who was released from prison Sunday after an eight-month sentence for slapping two Israeli occupation soldiers, an episode captured on video.
On Saturday, the Israeli regime arrested two Italians and a Palestinian “on suspicion of damaging and vandalising the security fence [separation barrier] in the Bethlehem area,” a 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 occupation authorities and following the arrests “with great attention”.
The Italian consul and a lawyer visited the two at their place of detention in occupied Jerusalem late Saturday and offered “all possible assistance,” the ministry said.
On Sunday afternoon the three were still being held by Israeli occupation forces.
The separation barrier cutting the West Bank off from Israel is filled with graffiti in support of the Palestinian cause.
Secretive British street artist Banksy is among those who have painted on the wall.