United Nations decries jailing of Palestinian teenage girl by Israel

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An Israeli military court has reached a deal with jailed Palestinian teen under which the 16-year-old will serve eight months behind bars, Israeli daily Haaretz reported Wednesday.

Demonstrators hold a banner reading "Free Ahed Tamimi" refering to the Palestinian teenager jailed in Israel, in Paris on March 8, 2018 during a demonstration called by feminists association to mark International Women's Day. They claim she has always been exploited by her family, who they accuse of using her to try to provoke Israeli soldiers on film.

Her mother Nariman was sentenced to eight months in prison in addition to a fine of 6,000 shekels (around US$ 1,780) and a three-year suspended sentenced for assisting in assaulting a soldier, obstructing a soldier and incitement.

The Israeli army said in a statement after the sentence that it "will continue operating in order to preserve the security and public order in (the West Bank) and enforce the law as it pertains to anyone who harms (Israeli) soldiers and incites violence".

Gaby Lasky says Wednesday's deal, which still needs to be approved by the military judge presiding over the case, would allow Tamimi to go home this summer.

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Tamimi's mother, Nariman, and a cousin were also arrested for the same incident.

The conviction rate in Israel's military courts in the West Bank is nearly 100% - not because the military prosecution is so efficient, but because Palestinian defendants reluctantly sign plea bargains in which they plead guilty.

In Thursday's interview, Lasky suggested that, if the trial had been carried out correctly, Tamimi would have been released after a few days of pre-trial detention, like other family members who were arrested in the same incident.

The court ordered the trial closed because Ahed was being tried as a minor, as is usual in such cases.

"After the court chose to keep the trial behind closed doors we understood she wasn't going to receive a fair trial", Lasky said. The Tamimi family of Nabi Saleh is well known internationally for their activism against the Israeli occupation, which maintains a heavy, near-constant presence in their village.

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Already a prominent Palestinian child activist, dubbed "Shirley Temper" by parts of the Israeli press, Tamimi was catapulted to even greater fame by the video and her subsequent arrest.

In this file photo taken on May 26, 2017 Palestinian Ahed Tamimi (R) reacts in front of Israeli forces during a demonstration on May 26, 2017, in the village of Nabi Saleh, north of Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

The military court dropped several of its initial charges against Ahed, for which she faced up to 10 years in prison, according to the prisoners solidarity group Samidoun.

The video shows the cousins approaching two soldiers and telling them to leave before shoving, kicking and slapping them. A video has been shared online of Tamimi praising "martyrdom operations".

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