Palestinian teen in 'slap video' reaches plea deal
Ofer Military Court (Palestinian Territories) (AFP)
A Palestinian teenager arrested after a viral video showed her hit two Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank has reached a plea deal with prosecutors to serve eight months in jail, her lawyer said Wednesday.
The Israeli military court where Ahed Tamimi is being tried had not yet decided whether to accept the agreement reached with prosecutors, lawyer Gaby Lasky told AFP.
Tamimi was 16 at the time of the December incident. She has since turned 17.
Her sentence would include time served and a fine of 5,000 shekels ($1,430, 1,166 euros), said Lasky, meaning she could be released in the summer.
She would plead guilty to only four of the 12 charges against her under the agreement, including assault, incitement and two counts of obstructing soldiers, Lasky said.
Lasky however said she only planned to present the plea bargain to the military court if it first accepts an agreement with Tamimi's mother, Nariman Tamimi.
A plea deal for Nariman Tamimi would also be for eight months in jail including time served, along with a 6,000-shekel fine, she said.
The court was expected to decide on the matter later Wednesday, according to Lasky.
Earlier in the day in the same case, Tamimi's cousin Nour Tamimi had her plea deal approved that saw her go free, the lawyer said.
The 20-year-old was sentenced to 16 days -- already served after her arrest -- and fined 2,000 shekels for assault of a soldier.
Both Ahed Tamimi and her mother were ordered held in custody throughout their trials, while Nour Tamimi had been freed on bail.
At one point in the court on Wednesday, in a sign of the passions involved in the case, an activist slapped one of the prosecutors in the head as he was leaving before being restrained, an AFP journalist reported.
Ahed Tamimi has been hailed as a hero by Palestinians who see her as bravely standing up to Israel's occupation of the West Bank.
Israelis accuse her family of using her as a pawn in staged provocations.
Her trial opened 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.
The court ordered the trial closed because Ahed was being tried as a minor, as is usual in such cases.
"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.
- Time of protests -
Ahed 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.
The Israeli military said the soldiers were in the area to prevent Palestinians from throwing stones at Israeli motorists.
The video shows the cousins approaching two soldiers and telling them to leave before shoving, kicking and slapping them.
Ahed Tamimi is the more aggressive of the two in the video.
The heavily armed soldiers do not respond to what appears to be an attempt to provoke rather than seriously harm them.
They then move backwards after Nariman Tamimi becomes involved.
The scuffle took place amid clashes and protests against US President Donald Trump's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Relatives say a member of the Tamimi family was wounded in the head by a rubber bullet fired during those protests.
Ahed Tamimi, who comes from a family of prominent activists, has been involved in a series of previous incidents, with older pictures of her confronting soldiers widely published.
Palestinians have flooded social media with praise and support.
© 2018 AFP