Palestinian teen hero to serve eight months in Israeli jail

Israel’s imprisonment of Tamimi among other minors has led to much international scrutiny

(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 26, 2017 Palestinian Ahed Tamimi (R) reacts in front of Israeli forces during a demonstration on May 26, 2017, in the village of Nabi Saleh, north of Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Tamimi who was arrested after a viral video showed her hitting two Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank has reached a plea deal with prosecutors to serve eight months in jail, Human Rights Watch said on March 21, 2018. / AFP / ABBAS MOMANI

Dubai: A Palestinian teenager arrested after a viral video showed her hit two Israeli occupation soldiers in the occupied West Bank reached a plea deal on Wednesday that will see her serve eight months in prison.

The Israeli military court where Ahed Tamimi was being tried accepted the deal between her and prosecutors in the case that has drawn international attention.

Tamimi, 16 at the time of the incident in December, has been hailed as a hero by Palestinians who see her as bravely standing up to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

She told reporters on Wednesday before the court accepted the agreement that “there is no justice under occupation and this is an illegitimate court.”

Tamimi’s sentence in the agreement includes time served and a fine of 5,000 shekels ($1,430, 1,166 euros), said her lawyer Gaby Lasky, meaning she is to be released in the summer.

She accepted to plead guilty to four of the 12 charges against her under the agreement, including assault, incitement and two counts of obstructing soldiers, Lasky said.

Tamimi’s trial began on February 13 behind closed doors at the Israeli military court in the West Bank.

Lasky appealed to have the trial opened, but was rejected.

“When they decided to keep her trial behind closed doors, we knew that we were not going to get a fair trial,” Lasky told AFP in describing her reasons for seeking a plea bargain.

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has criticised Israeli authorities’ actions in the case, while the European Union has expressed concern over Israel’s detention of minors, including Ahed Tamimi.

“Ahed will be home in a few months, but Israel is putting this child behind bars for eight months for calling for protests and slapping a soldier, after threatening her with years in jail,” Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of the Middle East division of Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.

Tamimi’s family says the December 15 incident that led to the arrests occurred in the yard of their home in Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah in the West Bank.

A video that was shared widely on social media shows Ahed and her cousin approaching two Israeli occupation soldiers and telling them to leave before shoving, kicking and slapping them.

Before the confrontation, Tamimi learned that her 15-year-old cousin, Mohammad, was shot at close range in the head by Israeli soldiers leaving him with permanent skull damage.

The video of the women bravely confronting the heavily armed soldiers went viral on social media and highlighted the continuous Israeli brutality against minors and women.

Since then, Ahed has become an icon of Palestinian resistance with people sharing messages of support on social media as well as holding demonstrations in solidarity with her—demanding her release from Israeli custody.

Although only 17, Ahed has been photographed on multiple occasions standing up to Israeli soldiers as early as the age 14.


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