Sunday, 17 November, 2019

Palestinian teen in 'slap video' jailed for eight months

Palestinian teen in 'slap video' jailed for eight months Palestinian teen in 'slap video' jailed for eight months
Patty Aguilar | 26 March, 2018, 03:58

In Israel, where a 20-year-old man can get away with a nine-month prison sentence for fatally shooting an unarmed and severely wounded Palestinian in the head, a young Palestinian girl has received an eight-month jail term for slapping Israeli soldiers who had raided her home and allegedly shot her cousin in the face with a rubber bullet.

Police are seeking to extend the remand of an Israeli woman who slapped a military prosecutor on Wednesday, during the sentencing of Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi, who was convicted of assaulting an IDF soldier. She is also being fined the equivalent of about $1,800.

Gaby Lasky, the Tamimis's lawyer, told the Israeli magazine +972 in January that even charging Ahed's mother with incitement for her live video broadcast was "very risky for freedom of the press". 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.

Ahed Tamimi was arrested on 19 December 2017, after her mother Nariman posted footage online of the teenager confronting Israeli soldiers in the family's backyard. Both have accepted plea bargains, a family lawyer said.

Bassem Tamimi said the Israeli military court handling the case upheld its decision to ban journalists from the courtroom, though relatives are permitted to enter.

Her case has become a cause célèbre in Israel and overseas, with critics accusing her and her family of orchestrating a PR campaign to discredit Israel, and supporters, mostly on the left, saying Israel is persecuting juveniles under the guise of security.

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The arrest and confinement of minor Ahed awaiting trial in a military court blew up a intifada on social networks that were filled with petitions for release of minor under hashtag FreeAhed.

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Michael Oren told NPR's Daniel Estrin that "for an Israeli audience to see again and again photos of our [service member] children being beaten up and not have the army react in any way was very, very hard for the society". The military court's insistence on holding Ahed's trial behind closed doors, such that it would be hidden from public view, did not give the family any more reason to trust in whatever justice the occupier could offer. Her mother and a 20-year-old cousin, Nour Tamimi, were also charged.

Some compared Tamimi's sentence to that of an IDF soldier who was captured on video in 2016 fatally shooting an injured Palestinian man in what was described by one United Nations expert as an "extrajudicial execution".

Israeli soldiers had been patrolling the village during weekly protests against Israeli policy on settlements in the West Bank. "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.

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