Israeli woman pleads guilty to charges she helped Palestinian gunman

An Israeli woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges she aided a Palestinian gunman and gave information to the enemy, the Israeli Justice Ministry said. Tali Fahima, a paralegal, has been held in an Israeli prison since late 2004 after she struck up a friendship with Zakariye Zubeydi, a fugitive militant leader in the West Bank town of Jenin.

Under the plea agreement, Fahima will admit to charges of contacting a "foreign agent" with the intent of harming Israel's security and passing information to the enemy, the ministry said in a statement. Fahima will be sentenced to three years in prison, the statement said.

The 14 months she has already been in jail will count, the ministry said, and Fahima could be released within a year if she has her sentenced reduced by one-third for good behavior. The court must approve the deal.

Zubeydi said in a telephone interview that Fahima admitted to the charges because of "the pressure she is under in the court."

"I see myself as a friend of Tali and Tali came to help the friends and to tell the (Israeli security service) Shin Bet that you can't kill someone without a court proceeding," Zubeydi said. He was referring to Israel's policy of hunting down and killing Palestinian militants. "This is what she got from her country, three years in prison," Zubeydi said, reports the AP. I.L.

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