Israeli border police on Saturday arrested two Italian graffiti artists and a Palestinian who were painting a mural of a jailed Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi, 17, on the Israeli separation barrier in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, according to Palestinian officials.
Ahed Tamimi was sent to prison for assault after being filmed kicking and slapping an Israeli soldier late last year, when she was just 16. She is due to be released on Sunday.
She became a heroine to Palestinians after the December 15 incident outside her home in the village of Nabi Saleh was streamed live on Facebook by her mother and went viral.
The Palestine Liberation Organisation said on Twitter that Israeli forces had arrested two Italian artists and a Palestinian who was with them. An Israeli police spokesman did not return a call from Reuters for comment.
The 13-foot mural appeared on the separation wall in Bethlehem just days before the 17-year-old activist is due to be released.
It's the creation of Italian street artist Agostino Chirwin, also known as 'Jorit Agoch,' who has a reputation for hyper realistic murals of activists, politicians and other campaigners. Chirwin obscured his identity while painting the mural by keeping a black cloth wrapped around his head.
The identities of the second Italian artist and the accompanying Palestinian have not yet been released.
On Thursday, Israeli occupation forces barred residents from entering and exiting Nabi Saleh, where Ahed lives with her family, ahead of her scheduled release.
Ahed will be released along with her mother Nariman at the Jabara checkpoint near the Palestinian city of Tulkarem. The Times of Israel reports the two then plan to hold a press conference at the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, which is slated for demolition by Israeli forces.