U.K. Rips Into Israel Over Palestinian Teen Tamimi: 'Conviction Is Emblematic of the Conflict'

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Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi in a courtroom at the Ofer military prison near Jerusalem, February 13, 2018.
Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi in a courtroom at the Ofer military prison near Jerusalem, February 13, 2018.Credit: Ariel Schalit/AP

The British Foreign office has weighed in on the plea deal reached between the Israeli army and Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi, saying the conviction and sentence were "emblematic of how the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict is blighting lives of a new generation."

They also called on Israel to improve its treatment of Palestinian minors in Israeli military prisons, urging local authorities to do more to "safeguard vulnerable people in its care."

Tamimi reached a plea bargain with military prosecution on Wednesday, according to which she is to be sentenced to eight months in prison. The military court handling her case approved the plea agreement on Wednesday, making it an official court order. 

As part of the agreement, the 17-year-old pleaded guilty to four counts of assault, including the videotaped slapping of an Israeli soldier. In addition to the eight month jail sentence, she is to pay a fine of 5,000 shekels ($1,437). 

The prosecution also reached plea agreements with Nur and Nariman Tamimi, Ahed Tamimi's cousin and mother, both of whom were involved in the videotaped slapping of the soldier. The agreement, which the court has also approved, sentences Nur Tamimi to time served -- 16 days in prison -- and a 2,000 shekel ($575) fine. Nariman Tamimi's sentence is  eight months in prison and a fine of 6,000 shekels ($1,725).

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Ahed Tamimi's case has been conducted behind closed doors. The military court rejected a request that she made this week to hold proceedings in public.

Nur Tamimi said she and Ahed slapped the soldiers in part because they had invaded Ahed's yard on December 15, the day they were filmed – but the main reason was that they had just read on Facebook that a cousin, Mohammed Tamimi, had suffered an apparently fatal head injury from an Israeli soldier's buillet. He actually survived the shooting.

Bassem Tamimi, Ahed's father, said that his wife and daughter had done nothing wrong and are "fighting for freedom and justice."