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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 November 2005, 14:40 GMT
Israeli admits helping militant
Left-wing activist Tali Fahima
Fahima admitted befriended a militant leader in Jenin
An Israeli woman facing charges of aiding a wanted Palestinian militant has agreed a plea bargain deal with the authorities, legal officials said.

Tali Fahima has admitted to contacting a foreign agent with the intention of harming national security, her lawyer Smadar Ben-Natan told BBC News.

Prosecutors will drop more serious charges including aiding the enemy during wartime, Ms Ben-Natan added.

Ms Fahima will be given a three-year jail term if a court approves the deal.

"She still regards herself as innocent - but this was the best deal under the circumstances," Ms Ben-Natan said.

Ms Fahima befriended Zakaria Zubeidi, the leader of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank city of Jenin and one of Israel's most wanted Palestinian militants.

The 29-year-old was regular guest in Mr Zubeidi's house and told reporters she was staying close him to protect him from assassination by Israel.

Zakaria Zubeidi
Zakaria Zubeidi is one of Israel's most wanted Palestinian militants
Mr Zubeidi says Ms Fahima admitted to the charges because of the "pressure she is under in the court."

"Tali came to help her friends and to tell the Shin Bet (Israeli security service) you can't kill someone without a court proceeding," he added, in comments reported by Associated Press.

Life Sentence

Ms Fahima has also agreed to admit charges of transferring information to the enemy and disobeying a legal order.

These charges relate to "reading out loud" a document left in the West Bank by the Israeli army and travelling to the West Bank without permission, her lawyer said

Prosecutors would also drop charges of supporting a terror group and illegal possession of weapons.

Ms Fahima could have faced a life sentence under the original charges.

The 14 months she has already been in jail will count towards her three-year term and she could be free within a year.

Ms Fahima was arrested last year and held for three months without charge under administrative detention - a measure Israel usually reserves for suspected Palestinian militants.


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