Palestinian teen in 'slap video' reaches plea deal for 8 months jail: HRW

Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi arrested after a viral video showed her hit two Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank has reached a plea deal. (AFP)
Updated 21 March 2018
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Palestinian teen in 'slap video' reaches plea deal for 8 months jail: HRW

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES: A Palestinian teenager arrested after a viral video showed her hit two Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank has reached a plea deal with prosecutors to serve eight months in jail, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.
The Israeli military court where Ahed Tamimi is being tried had not yet decided on whether to accept the agreement reached with prosecutors, HRW's Omar Shakir told AFP.
Tamimi was 16 at the time of the December incident. Tamimi, who turned 17 in prison last month, was charged with assault and incitement after she slapped and punched two Israeli soldiers in her West Bank village in December.
The incident was captured on video and widely shared online.
She would plead guilty to only four of the 12 charges against her under the agreement, including assault, incitement and two counts of obstructing soldiers, Lasky said.
Lasky however said she only planned to present the plea bargain to the military court if it first accepts an agreement with Tamimi's mother, Nariman Tamimi.
A plea deal for Nariman Tamimi would also be for eight months in jail including time served, she said.
The court was expected to decide on the matter later Wednesday, according to Lasky.
Ahed Tamimi has been hailed as a hero by Palestinians who see her as bravely standing up to Israel's occupation of the West Bank.
Israelis accuse her family of using her as a pawn in staged provocations.


Morocco Christians urge religious freedom before pope visit

Updated 33 min 40 sec ago
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Morocco Christians urge religious freedom before pope visit

  • Morocco is 99 percent Muslim
  • The pontiff is due to visit the North African country on March 30-31 at the invitation of King Mohammed VI

RABAT: Morocco’s Christian minority on Thursday called on authorities in the Muslim-majority country to guarantee religious freedoms, ahead of a visit by Pope Francis.
The Coordination of Moroccan Christians, a group representing converts to Christianity in a nation that is 99 percent Muslim, appealed for “basic freedoms of which we, Moroccan Christians, are still often deprived.”
These include freedom of public worship as well as the right to have church or civil weddings and Christian funeral rites and education, it said in a statement.
“We dream of a free Morocco” which embraces religious diversity, the group said, adding that it hopes Pope Francis’s visit this month will be a “historic occasion” for the country.
“We also call on the Moroccan authorities to no longer put pressure on the country’s official churches, including the Catholic church in Morocco, to dissuade them from accepting” converts to Christianity, the statement said.
The pontiff is due to visit the North African country on March 30-31 at the invitation of King Mohammed VI.
More than 40,000 Christians — mostly foreigners — are estimated to live in Morocco, whose king describes himself as the “commander of the faithful.”
Religious pluralism is enshrined in the constitution and freedom of worship is guaranteed, according to the Moroccan authorities.