Parole board rejects Fahima's early release request

A parole board on Wednesday rejected Tali Fahima's request to be released from prison after completing two-thirds of her sentence because of her alleged "crass and impudent" behavior toward prison guards during her incarceration. It accepted Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz's recommendation, which was based on classified intelligence reports regarding Fahima's conduct. Fahima was sentenced to three years in jail late last year on charges of entering Jenin illegally, meeting with members of the outlawed Aksa Martyrs' Brigades, translating a classified military document for them and holding and firing a sub-machine gun. The board, headed by retired judge Nora Lidski, noted that Fahima's behavior had improved during the last three months and it would therefore reconsider its decision, conditional on whether she kept it up over the coming three months. "We are, at this stage, postponing the release of the prisoner," the board wrote in its decision. "However, at the same time we believe that should [Fahima] continue her good behavior for another three months starting today, it would be proper to consider an early release approvingly." The board wrote that "regarding the prisoner's conduct during her incarceration, we were presented with a large number of intelligence reports indicating crass and impudent behavior on her part." It rejected charges by Fahima and her lawyer, Smadar Ben-Natan, that the state was reneging on a promise to back an early release in the context of the plea bargain arrangement reached by the parties before her sentencing. But on Wednesday, a Justice Ministry official said that the section of the plea bargain agreement referring to early release "was conditional on the fact that no new information would become available linking the defendant to any sort of criminal activity and on good behavior in prison." Ben-Nathan, told The Jerusalem Post that "the state prosecution's position not to release Fahima just because she was impudent is a vengeful and unworthy one, especially given the plea bargain agreement in which it promised not to stand in the way of an early release."