Teenage girl accused of slapping Israeli soldier accepts 8-month sentence, report says
A teenage Palestinian girl who was filmed kicking and slapping an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank accepted a plea deal on Wednesday under which she will be sentenced to eight months in prison, Israel's Haaretz news website said.
Ahed Tamimi, 17, became a hero to Palestinians after the Dec 15 incident outside her home in the village of Nabi Saleh was streamed live on Facebook by her mother and went viral.
Tamimi's attorney was not immediately available to comment. The attorney had earlier told Reuters that a plea bargain had been offered by military prosecutors at the court in Ofer military prison in the West Bank, near Ramallah.
Tamimi was 16 at the time of the offence. Her trial began last month and she faced 12 charges, including aggravated assault.
Israeli news websites said that under the plea agreement, Tamimi, who was 16 at the time of the incident, would plead guilty to a reduced charge sheet that included assault, and would be sentenced to eight months in jail.
The incident prompted criticism from right-wing Israelis that the military looked weak by allowing the teenager to strike a soldier and an officer with impunity.
The army said the soldier "acted professionally" by showing restraint. Tamimi's mother, Nariman, and a cousin were also arrested. Both have accepted plea bargains, a family lawyer said.
Support among celebrities
The case drew global attention. Amnesty International called Tamimi the "Rosa Parks of Palestine," and the small courtroom was often packed with journalists, diplomats and international observers during hearings, during which Tamimi was led into court in shackles.
A group of U.S. cultural figures, including actors Danny Glover and Rosario Dawson and novelist Alice Walker, signed a petition calling for her release and comparing her case to those of "the children of immigrants and communities of colour who face police brutality in the United States."
Her father said Tuesday he had visited his daughter and wife in an Israeli prison for the first time since they were both arrested in December.
Bassem Tamimi said he spoke to his wife and daughter for 45 minutes on Monday, using a telephone as they sat on the other side of a window. He said the Red Cross helped him obtain a permit to make two visits over a three-month period.