Israeli courts violate Palestinian minors' rights

An Australian woman wanted in her home country for child sex abuse crimes is seen at the Jerusalem District Court

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.

Tamimi's mother, Nariman, and a cousin were also arrested.

A teenage Palestinian girl who was filmed kicking and slapping an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank accepted a plea deal yesterday under which she will be sentenced to eight months in prison, her lawyer said.

'Ahed Tamimi's case is exceptional only in that it garnered special media attention, but it is essentially no different from hundreds of such cases every year.

Ms Tamimi's lawyer was not immediately available to comment.

Her trial began last month and she faced 12 charges, including aggravated assault. An Israeli official's revelation that he had once had parliament investigate whether the blond, blue-eyed Tamimis are "real" Palestinians drew accusations of racism and helped stoke additional interest in the case.

Tamimi, handcuffed and shackled, shouted out to reporters at court in the Ofer military prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

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The case touches on what constitutes legitimate resistance to Israel's rule over millions of Palestinians, now in its 51st year, in territories it captured in the 1967 war.

Since 2009, residents of Tamimi's village of Nabi Salah have staged regular anti-occupation protests that often end with stone-throwing clashes.

Ahed Tamimi is the more aggressive of the two in the video.

She was arrested in December after video surfaced of her accosting soldiers outside her West Bank home.

In particular, the role of the Military Juvenile Court, whose establishment Israel views as a landmark achievement in the protection of minors' rights in the military court system, is primarily to sign off on plea bargains already reached between the defense and the prosecution outside the courtroom.

The dueling justice systems have drawn criticism from worldwide rights groups. Nearly all minors sign the plea bargains, having been left little choice by the military courts' detention policy: most minors are held in custody from the time of their arrest and until they finish serving their sentence.

"Ahed will be home in a few months, but Israel is putting this child behind bars for eight months for calling for protests and slapping a soldier, after threatening her with years in jail", Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of the Middle East division of Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.

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