Arab Knesset member who aided terrorists gets 2 years

A lawmaker from the Arab Joint List, found guilty of exploiting his parliamentary rights in order to aid terrorists, was sentenced to two years in prison. 

Lawmaker Basel Ghattas (Arab Joint List) will resign from the Knesset and plead guilty to charges that he used his parliamentary immunity to forbidden materials to Palestinian security inmates incarcerated at Ketziot Prison in December.

An indictment will be filed next week.

State prosecutors will ask the court to fine Ghattas. The State Prosecutor will also ask the court to attach a clause of moral turpitude to the confession to reflect the seriousness and background of the crimes.

Ghattas will be charged with smuggling mobile phones into a prison, providing materials for a terror attack and bringing documents into the prison without authorization by prison authorities.

Responding to reports of the plea bargain, Ghattas reiterated that he takes full responsibility for his actions, which, he claimed, stemmed from personal and humanitarian concerns for the prisoners.

Ghattas stressed that the indictment that will be filed next week does not include a clause charging the outgoing MK of “striking a blow to national security or its citizens or supporting terrorism.

Read  Shin Bet releases 50 Palestinian prisoners, including Shifa hospital director, because 'no room in prison'

Several ministers and Knesset members slammed the ruling, saying it was too lenient.

“I find it difficult to understand why the prosecution is satisfied with only two years in prison for Ghattas over acts of assisting to terrorism, when the evidence is so solid. I hope the court will impose a much worse sentence,” Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan wrote on Twitter.

Ghattas “tried to help a terrorist and thus put many lives at risk. Two years?” Erdan exclaimed, pointing out that those guilty of non-security-related crimes are often given harsher sentences.

MK Robert Ilatov, among others, also criticized the deal, saying, “This is a very light punishment that will severely impair deterrence and encourage such despicable actions in the future.”

Ghattas “will be released from prison after only two years, and will be considered a hero and a righteous fighter by all those who wish to annihilate the State of Israel,” he continued”This is not the message we want to convey to traitors and spies who are constantly working for the destruction of the State of Israel.”

By: World Israel News
With files from TPS and Arutz Sheva