Arab MK who aided terrorists resigns from Knesset

Lawmaker Basel Ghattas, sentenced to two years for aiding terrorists, resigned from the Knesset ahead of his prison term.

Member of Knesset (MK) Basel Ghattas on Sunday submitted his resignation to Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein.

Ghattas, a member of the Joint Arab List faction, signed a plea bargain agreement on Thursday. He confessed to smuggling cellphones to security prisoners in Ketziot Prison in the Negev and agreed to serve two years in jail and resign from the Knesset.

Ghattas waived his parliamentary immunity on December 22.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit revealed that police had surveillance showing the MK transferring envelopes to inmates. Twelve cellphones and 16 SIM cards were discovered in the envelopes. The phones would be used to coordinate terror activities from within the prison.

Ghattas will be replaced in the Knesset by Jamaa Azbarga, 59, of Lakiya.

Azbarga, a father of nine, is a former employee of the Maccabi Healthcare Services. He promoted ties between the healthcare provider and the Bedouin sector prior to his retirement four years ago.

Azbarga, like Ghattas, belongs to the Balad party in the Joint Arab List faction.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News