Palestinian teen jailed over slap loses bid for release: supporters

A file pictures shows Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi at a military court at the Israeli-run Ofer prison in the West Bank village of Betunia on December 28, 2017
AFP

Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) – A Palestinian teen jailed for slapping an Israeli soldier near her home in the occupied West Bank lost an appeal on Wednesday for her early release, her supporters said.

Ahed Tamimi’s case gained international attention when footage emerged of her slapping and kicking two Israeli soldiers next to her house in the West Bank in December, with the soldiers not responding to the provocation.

Tamimi was later arrested and eventually accepted a plea bargain in which she was sentenced to an eight-month prison term due to end in mid-July.

On Wednesday an Israeli parole committee rejected the 17-year-old’s appeal for early release, said a spokeswoman for a group campaigning on her behalf.

There was no immediate confirmation of the decision from the Israeli side.

The video of Tamimi’s confrontation with the soldiers went viral, with some Israelis saying it was an example of the army not responding to provocations, but others saying the soldiers were humiliated.

Palestinians said she repeatedly told the soldiers to leave her land, which is considered occupied under international law.

A cousin of hers had been shot in the head earlier in the day during clashes with Israeli soldiers, her lawyers have said.

Critics of Israel have contrasted her eight-month sentence with the nine months eventually served by an Israeli soldier who shot dead an injured Palestinian attacker as he lay on the ground.

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