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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 December 2005, 12:30 GMT
Israeli jailed over militant help
Left-wing activist Tali Fahima
Tali Fahima still considers herself innocent
An Israeli woman has been sentenced to three years in jail by a court in Tel Aviv for aiding a wanted Palestinian militant in the West Bank.

Tali Fahima had admitted in a plea bargaining deal in November contacting a foreign agent with the intention of harming national security.

She also pleaded guilty to transferring information to the enemy, and disobeying a legal order.

Ms Fahima was also sentenced to one-and-a-half years on probation.

The 14 months she has already served in custody will count towards her prison term and she could be free next year.

Her lawyer, Smadar Ben-Natan, told BBC News last month that Ms Fahima still regarded herself as innocent.

Mr Ben-Natan said she had agreed to the plea bargain to avoid a life sentence on charges of aiding the enemy during wartime.

Most-wanted

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.

Zakaria Zubeidi
Zakaria Zubeidi is one of Israel's most wanted Palestinian militants

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

Mr Zubeidi told reporters Ms Fahima admitted to the charges because of the pressure she was 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 said.

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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