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Ahed Tamimi to spend 8 months in prison in plea deal

The 17-year-old from Nabi Saleh filmed slapping an Israeli soldier has already been imprisoned for three months. Her mother and cousin also sign plea deals. Activist slaps prosecutor in court.

By +972 Magazine Staff

Ahed Tamimi is seen before her hearing at Ofer Military Court near the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 17, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Ahed Tamimi is seen before her hearing at Ofer Military Court near the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 17, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Ahed Tamimi, the teenager from Nabi Saleh arrested after a video of her attempting to push two armed Israeli soldiers off of her family’s porch went viral, signed a plea deal in Israeli military court on Wednesday, and will serve eight months in prison including three months time served.

Her mother, Nariman, and cousin, Nur, also signed plea deals. Nariman will serve eight months, and Nur was sentenced to time served.

The now-famous video of Ahed was filmed shortly after Israeli soldiers shot her cousin, Mohammed, in the head with a rubber-coated bullet and fractured his skull. An Israeli military court denied bail to Ahed and her mother, Nariman — the latter charged with incitement for livestreaming the video of Ahed and the soldiers — in January.

In court on Wednesday, an activist present during Nariman’s hearing slapped a military prosecutor and was arrested. The activist, an Israeli citizen, reportedly told the prosecutor after slapping him: “who are you to judge her.”

Nariman also signed a plea deal under which she will serve eight months.

Over 70 percent of juvenile defendants accept plea bargains in Israeli military juvenile courts, which have a startling conviction rate of more than 95 percent.

Ahed Tamimi seen in a protest in Nabi Saleh. (Haim Schwarczenberg)

Ahed Tamimi seen in a protest in Nabi Saleh. (Haim Schwarczenberg)

The practice of pre-conviction detention (denying bail) is the default in Israeli military courts. This means that Palestinian minors are faced with a choice of either fighting the charges and remaining in prison for the duration of their trial or signing a plea deal and receiving a reduced sentence.

Given the time spent in prison awaiting trial — Ahed, for example, has been imprisoned for three months already and her trial hasn’t even begun — even a defendant who is acquitted still might spend more time in prison that they would if they had agreed to sign a plea deal.

Ahed has become an international symbol of Palestinian resistance since her arrest, her picture appearing on posters and billboards around the world. Dozens of American cultural luminaires, including Alice Walker, Rosario Dawson, Cornel West, and Danny Glover called for Ahed’s release in February.

In late February, the army arrested Ahed’s cousin Mohammed Tamimi — still awaiting surgery to reconstruct the part of his skull that was removed—in a pre-dawn raid. He was interrogated without a lawyer or a parent present, and released a few hours later after being pressured to confess that his head injury was caused by falling off a bicycle — and not by an Israeli rubber-bullet, fragments of which were extracted from his skull.

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    1. Tommy Goldberg

      Main thing, she’s now an “admitted terrorist.” Nothing she does for the rest of her life will now have any legitimacy (in the eyes of occupation apologists.) She also will be ineligible for travel beyond her bantustan. That’s how you silence one of your most sympathetic critics. #MissionAccomplished

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        I’m understand your point but I think you overstate. All she really has admitted to is slapping a soldier. The occupation’s apologists called her a “terrorist” before she ever had that encounter with the soldier and will go on calling her that now. They never accorded her any legitimacy well before the slap heard around the world, quite the opposite. Just as they call diplomats “diplomatic terrorists” and they call people who build houses without (unobtainable) permits “construction terrorists.” And like most indigenous West Bank Palestinian residents she was not really allowed to travel outside of her Bantustan before she was arrested either. I don’t think Ahed Tamimi will be silenced. Perhaps this forced plea deal includes a gag order of some kind but if they lock her up again for simply expressing her thoughts or for peacefully protesting then that will only make her more renowned and only make the Israeli occupation authorities resemblance to the East German Stasi all that more glaring.

        Meanwhile, mass marches scheduled for Passover loom.
        [Martin Luther King] understood that the greatest obstacle facing the black man is not the Ku Klux Klan but the moderate and arrogant white man, who believes in public order more than in justice, and thinks that he can determine a timetable for another person’s freedom and demand that he wait for a more convenient time.
        The organizers of the March of Return are unwilling to wait for a more convenient time. After trying violence and entreaties and the diplomatic approach, they have decided to violate the public order and arouse the masses to a civil rebellion.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          Palestinians’ New Doomsday Weapon Has Israel Scared to Death
          The first field trial is next week, the day of Passover. A new weapon against occupation, wielded by Palestinian refugees. And Israel, with its layers of defense against every manner of killing devised by man, is unprepared

          (I am not naive. I expect that the Israeli occupation authorities will try every conceivable dirty trick, including using mistaarvim, to convert the marches into something violent, or manufacture disinformation as a pretext for derailing and violently suppressing these marches. I expect that there are by now organized and detailed plans in the secure conference rooms of the IDF and the Police and the Shin Bet to this effect, to covertly and overtly convert the peaceful marches into something violent, to get the Israelis back on the comfortable basis they understand and love. We shall see how the marchers handle it. We shall see how the Israelis handle it. Could there be a massacre? Yes there could.)

          Reply to Comment
    2. Marcello

      Israel has lost its soul. I have a hard time believing that God approves of their atrocities. They seem to be reliving the old testament: vengeance, violence, no mercy, no compassion, no justice, scorched earth policy, no mercy for woman, children babies or old men. Take as much land as you want, by force. “A devil may care” attitude. An “eye for eye, a tooth for a tooth”, till everyone is blind and toothless, including Israel.

      Reply to Comment
      • Itshak Gordin Halevy

        Marcello, who are you to write that Israel has lost his soul? Israel’s crimes? Please let us know the number of Arabs killed by Israel in a year? Not more than one day in Syria, Yemen, etc.

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        “Marcello, who are you…?”

        You have to understand I. G. Halevy. He thinks Israeli Jews have a special right to do whatever they please to non-Jews in the holy land–his rabbis and his religious books told him so–and you, Marcello, fall into the category of relative untermensch in Halevy’s taxonomy. Your thoughtful concerns about human rights (of non-Jews) don’t count for very much. I’m serious. Halevy, I hold, really thinks this. Any number of published statements support this inference.

        Reply to Comment
        • Itshak Gordin Halevy

          Absolutely not. Non-Jews can live in Israel if they respect our laws. When I am in the USA in France, I respect their laws. A lot of foreigner visit Israel and are more than happy in our country. We love the foreigners if they are respectful.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            @Halevy: Let us put aside the Orwellian lie of “foreigners,” and the sinister Orwellian euphemism of “respect our laws,” and let us look at this:

            “When I am in the USA in France, I respect their laws.”

            The obvious thing is, the West Bank Palestinians are not in Israel. Israelis are in the West Bank. The future Palestinian state.

            So…your new motto, Halevy, is “when I am in Palestine, I will respect their laws.”

            I expect this is a cognitive-behavioral challenge for you, I understand, but it gets easier each time you do it and you will eventually master it. Don’t lose heart. One day it will be easy and you will wonder what all the fuss was about.

            Reply to Comment