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1ST LEAD Palestinian protest icon who hit Israeli soldiers to serve 8 months By Eliyahu Kamisher, dpa

Israel
21.03.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Tel Aviv (dpa) - Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian teenager turned protest icon who was filmed hitting Israeli soldiers, will serve eight months in prison after she reached a plea deal with Israeli military prosecutors, the Israeli army said Wednesday.

The 17-year-old faced 12 charges with the potential for years in prison in a case that sparked international condemnation of Israel‘s handling of the teenager.

Tamimi will plead guilty to four charges of attacking an Israeli officer and soldier as seen as seen in the viral video in December, and two additional charges of incitement and disrupting a soldier. She will pay a 5,000-shekel (1,450-dollar) fine.

Her mother Nariman and cousin Nour, also seen in the video, accepted plea bargains of eight months and time served, respectively.

"It remains a tragedy that a 17-year-old girl will spend eight months in prison for driving soldiers away from her home, but Ahed and Nariman could never expect a fair trail," the teenager‘s lawyer, Gaby Lasky, said in a statement.

Palestinians see Tamimi as a hero who opposes Israel‘s military occupation of the West Bank, while Israel says she is an agitator who attempts to provoke soldiers on film as part of a Palestinian public relations campaign.

In the December 15 video, the then 16-year-old Tamimi is seen slapping and punching two Israeli soldiers entering the driveway of the family‘s home during a protest in her West Bank hometown of Nabi Saleh.

Tamimi was arrested shortly after in a controversial night raid and has remained in Israeli detention since.

International human rights groups, the European Union and others have criticized Israel‘s handling of Tamimi, placing under scrutiny the Israeli military court system that Palestinian youth face in the West Bank.

"Plea bargains are the norm in Israel‘s military justice system, which is characterized by prolonged pretrial detention, abuse of kids and sham trials," said Sarah Lee Witson, director of Human Rights Watch‘s Middle East division, in response to the plea deal.

"Hundreds of Palestinian children remain locked up with little attention on their cases," she added.

Residents of Nabi Saleh have staged weekly demonstrations since 2009, after the Israeli army restricted Palestinian access to nearby lands, making way for Jewish settlers in the area.

Members of the Tamimi family, which numbers in the hundreds, have died and been arrested in the protests and Israeli commentators have accused them of placing minors in harm‘s way.

 

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"Israel" (Hebrew: מדינת ישראל "Medinat Yisra-el"; Arabic دولَة إِسرائيل "Dawlat Isrā"īl") is a small yet diverse Middle Eastern country with a long coastline on the eastern
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