Palestinian teen who slapped soldier sentenced to 8 months in prison

As part of plea deal, military prosecution drops 8 of 12 charges that had been originally filed against Ahed Tamimi, though 17-year-old admits to aggravated assault and incitement

Ahed Tamimi arrives for the beginning of her trial in the Israeli military court at Ofer military prison in the West Bank village of Betunia on February 13, 2018. (Flash90)
Ahed Tamimi arrives for the beginning of her trial in the Israeli military court at Ofer military prison in the West Bank village of Betunia on February 13, 2018. (Flash90)

Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi was sentenced to eight months in prison Wednesday after a military court approved a plea bargain in which she admitted to assaulting an IDF soldier in addition to three other offenses.

Tamimi was arrested four months ago after being filmed slapping and shoving IDF soldiers in her West Bank village of Nebi Saleh. Ahed’s mother Nariman and cousin Nour were also charged for their participation in the December 15 incident.

The 17-year-old’s sentence will include time already served since her arrest four days after the quarrel, meaning she is slated to be released in the summer. The verdict also tacked on a fine of NIS 5,000 ($1,430).

Under the terms of the plea bargain, Ahed admitted to the aggravated assault of an IDF soldier, incitement to violence and disrupting soldiers on two other occasions.

Following the sentencing at the Ofer Military Court, Ahed told reporters that there is “no justice under occupation and we are in an illegal court.”

Nariman Tamimi was given 8 months in prison, a suspended sentence, and a fine of NIS 6,000 ($1,730) under the same plea deal, for crimes of incitement, disrupting a soldier, and assisting in the assault of a soldier.

Nour Tamimi was given a NIS 2,000 ($580) fine, a sentence of 16-days time served since her arrest, and a suspended sentence, also as part of the plea agreement. Unlike her aunt and cousin, the 21-year-old had been released from prison two weeks after her arrest due to the relatively minor charges against her.

During the Wednesday hearing, an unnamed Israeli supporter of Tamimi slapped the military prosecutor and was immediately arrested.

In a statement following the sentencing, the Tamimis’ attorney Gaby Lasky pointed out that the military prosecution had “erased eight of the twelve charges in Ahed’s indictment,” namely the several added counts for stone throwing, which the Military Advocate General was unable to approve.

Moreover, Lasky highlighted the fact that the charges that were used to by the judge to justify his January decision to remand Ahed until the end of proceedings against her were not among the offenses to which the 17-year-old was asked to confess.

Still, she referred to the 8 month sentence as a “considerable achievement… given that the occupation’s legal system doesn’t provide justice.”

Ahed’s incarceration has drawn attention from around the globe, highlighting the teen’s image as a Palestinian icon. She has become a cause célèbre for Palestinian supporters, and rallies have been held in several locations calling for her release.

Many Palestinians see her as bravely standing up to military control over the West Bank, while Israelis accuse her family of using her as a pawn.

Nabi Saleh has been a frequent staging ground for provoked clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians, specifically members of the Tamimi clan, which has a history of getting involved in highly publicized interactions with the IDF.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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