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Ahed Tamimi reaches plea deal with Israeli military to serve 8 months in prison

March 22, 2018 11:16 A.M. (Updated: March 25, 2018 12:39 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- 17-year-old Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi, who was imprisoned in December for slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier, reached a plea deal with the Israeli military prosecution on Wednesday, and will serve eight months in jail with time served.

After a closed-door hearing on Wednesday, the Free The Tamimi campaign released a statement saying that Tamimi and her mother, Nariman, would both be released in July.

Nariman Tamimi was arrested one day after Ahed and later charged with “incitement” for filming and publishing Ahed’s now famous incident with the soldiers who were raiding her hometown of Nabi Saleh, in the central occupied West Bank.

Minutes before Ahed was filmed kicking and slapping the soldier who had encroached on her family’s property, soldiers had shot her 15-year-old cousin Muhammad in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet.

According to a statement from Avaaz, the organization running the campaign to free Ahed and Nariman, the military prosecution dropped eight of the 12 charges --which initially carried a sentence of up to 10 years in prison -- against Ahed as part of the plea bargain.

As part of the plea deal, Ahed recognized in court the fact that she slapped the soldier and called for protests.” In return, Ahed will get the minimum sentence of 8 months instead of spending at least 3 years in prison based on what the military prosecutor initially pursued,” Avaaz said.

“The fact that a child will be jailed for 8 months for slapping a soldier whose troops just shot her 15 year old cousin in the face is extreme, but in the context of the 99% conviction rate in the Israeli military court system and right-wing incitement against Ahed, this compromise by the Israeli military shows they have decided to back down in the face of growing pressure to release Ahed,” the statement said.

The Tamimi family of Nabi Saleh is well known internationally for their activism against the Israeli occupation, which maintains a heavy, near-constant presence in their village.

Ahed Tamimi is famous across Palestine and the Arab world for videos of her, since her childhood, defiantly resisting Israeli soldiers who clash with Palestinians in her village nearly every week.

Two years ago, her family made headlines when an Israeli soldier violently attempted to arrest her younger brother, who had one arm in a cast at the time. Ahed and her mother manager to pull the soldier of her brother and free him.

Since her arrest, Ahed has become the subject of dozens of solidarity campaigns across the world demanding her release from Israeli prison, and an end to Israeli detention of Palestinian children.

According to Palestinian prisoners rights group Addameer, 6,119 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prison as of February, 330 of whom are children.

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