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Palestinian teenage activist gets 8 months in Israeli jail

Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi (C) enters an Israeli military courtroom escorted by Israeli forces at Ofer Prison, near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, January 15, 2018. (Photo by Reuters)

An Israeli military court has sentenced a teenage Palestinian girl, who was filmed kicking and slapping an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank, to eight months in prison.

Ahed Tamimi’s lawyer Gaby Lasky said on Wednesday that the 17-year-old girl agreed to the sentence as part of a plea deal that allowed her to avoid years-long prison terms.

Under the deal, she was also fined the equivalent of about $1,400.

“No justice under occupation!” Tamimi, handcuffed and shackled, shouted out to reporters at the court in the Ofer military prison near the Palestinian city of Ramallah.

In a statement following Tamimi’s conviction, Amnesty International condemned the sentence as “disproportionately harsh.”

“The Israeli authorities must stop responding to relatively small acts of defiance with such disproportionately harsh punishments. By ruthlessly targeting Palestinians, including children, who dare challenge Israel’s oppressive occupation, the authorities are neglecting their responsibilities under international law as an occupying force,” Amnesty said.

In January, the rights group had called on the global community to pressure Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into releasing the Palestinian teen activist.

Tamimi became the latest face of Palestinian resistance when footage emerged of her slapping one and then another fully-armed Israeli officer in the face during a protest in her home village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah.

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Israeli forces had earlier shot her cousin in the face. During a confrontation that reportedly erupted over that shooting, Tamimi, recognizable since young age by her blond curly hair as well as her courageous posture, slapped and kicked two Israeli forces while protesting.

Faced with embarrassment as that video went viral, Israelis decided to arrest Tamimi. They went on to take her into custody last month. According to some accounts, 20 Israeli army Jeeps arrived at Tamimi's house before dawn to arrest her.

She was arrested on December 15 along with her mother, Nariman, who has been nabbed five times before, including for filming her children and other youths protesting against Israel.

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