Ahed Tamimi, the teenage girl who became an icon to Palestinians after she was filmed slapping an Israeli soldier, has accepted a plea bargain in which she will serve eight months in prison, according to activists.

The 17-year-old from the occupied West Bank has already spent three months in an Israeli jail and so is expected to be free in July. As part of the plea deal, Israeli prosecutors agreed to drop the more serious charges against her. 

The final agreement still needs to be approved by the military judge overseeing the case.  

The deal was hailed as a victory by Tamimi’s supporters as she faced up to three years in prison if convicted of the original charges. 

“Her call for freedom has inspired a generation of Palestinian children who are daring to demand a different kind of future,” said Fadi Quran, coordinator of the Free Ahed Tamimi campaign. 

Israel said the family were well-known activists who deliberately engineered confrontations with Israeli forces to generate publicity. One Israeli minister even suggested the Tamimis might be actors rather than a real family. 

The case has generated debate over how some Palestinian activists put children into potentially dangerous situations to try to draw attention to their cause. 

It has also focused attention on Israel’s imprisonment of Palestinian children. More than 350 Palestinian minors were being held in Israeli prisons at the end of February, according to the Israeli prison service.    

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