Israeli sentencing of Ahed Tamimi symbolises conflict

Mahmoud Abbas

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

Ahed Tamimi, 17, became a hero 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.

Plus, no-one, Palestinian or Israeli, really believes Tamimi will not continue the fight once she returns home. Tamimi, handcuffed and shackled, shouted out to reporters in court in the Ofer military prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Her lawyer, Gaby Lasky, said Wednesday that Tamimi is also being fined 5,000 shekels (about $1,400). Ahed Tamimi pleaded guilty to attacking the soldier and to two other counts of disrupting a soldier and incitement, the Israeli military said.

"Her call for freedom has inspired a generation of Palestinian children who are daring to demand a different kind of future", said Fadi Quran, coordinator of the Free Ahed Tamimi campaign, the Guardian reported.

Lasky said Nariman was also seeking an eight-month plea bargain. Her mother has also been charged with incitement. She was denied bail earlier this year, and will receive credit for the time she was detained during the closed-door trial.

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

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

"Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Israel is a state party, the arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child must be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time", said Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for the Middle East and Africa.

In such a system, the best interest of Palestinian minors hardly crosses the Israeli judges' minds, let alone guides their decisions. The incident, which was live-streamed on Tamimi's mother's Facebook account, shows the teenage girl walking toward two soldiers and telling them get out before kicking, shoving and slapping them.

Eight of the 12 charges against Ahed Tamimi were dropped.

The heavily armed soldiers do not respond to what appears to be an attempt to provoke rather than seriously harm them.

Muhammad Tamimi was allegedly shot in the head during a riot and then underwent surgery, in which the rubber bullet and a portion of his skull were removed. They are often subjected to violence and threats during interrogations, which take place without parents or lawyers present, and they are automatically remanded in custody pending the end of proceedings.

But many Israelis consider her a provocateur, similar to members of her family who have protested Israeli policies for years.

Palestinians have flooded social media with praise and support.



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