Israeli-Arab lawmaker suspected of aiding terrorists

An Israeli-Arab lawmaker is suspected of exploiting his senior position to aid terrorists. 

An Israeli-Arab Member of Knesset (MK) is suspected of smuggling cellphones to terrorists incarcerated in an Israeli prison in southern Israel.

MK Basel Ghattas of the Balad party – part of the Joint Arab List, an alliance of four Arab political parties – was questioned by police on Sunday after he allegedly snuck phones into the Ketsiot prison and gave them to Palestinian convicts serving time for terror offenses.

The investigation into Ghattas’ actions was prompted by intelligence collected by the Israeli Prison Service.

Ghattas is suspected of having given the phones to senior terrorists of the Hamas and Fatah terror organizations. The phones are used to coordinate terror activities from within the prison.

The attorney general authorized police to summon Ghattas for questioning under caution. Police stated that the investigation is ongoing and that further developments are expected in the coming days.

Ghattas dismissed the allegations, claiming that the incident was “another chapter in the political persecution of the Arab public.” He accused police of attempting to “break the spirit” of his political party.

Grounds for Impeachment?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that if the allegations are confirmed, then a grave offense was committed against the state’s security and the citizens of Israel. “Anyone who harms the state’s security must be punished severely and must be banned from serving in Israel’s Knesset,” he stated.

Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman called the Joint Arab List an alliance of “spies and traitors,” adding that the incident provides further proof of List members’ anti-Israel activism. Several of its Arab members have been implicated or convicted of anti-Israel activism, from the spread of anti-Israel bias to espionage for the enemy.

Ghattas has been involved in anti-Israel activism, including participation in an anti-Israel flotilla to Gaza and visiting families of Palestinian terrorists who had murdered Israelis.

Minister Ze’ev Elkin is working to use the recently passed Impeachment Bill for the first time on Ghattas, enabling the expulsion of lawmakers working to undermine Israel’s democracy or incite against the country. He is collecting the required 90 signatures from MKs to begin the process.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News