Police search office of terror-aiding Arab Knesset member

Police are proceeding with their investigation against Ghattas, while he has lost his right to vote at the Knesset.

Police on Sunday searched the parliamentary office of Member of Knesset (MK) Basel Ghattas, an Israeli-Arab lawmaker who is suspected of aiding imprisoned Palestinian terrorists.

Accompanied by a Knesset security officer and the parliament’s legal advisor, the police searched his office for further evidence and confiscated documents and other materials.

They also searched his home in the village of Rama in the north.

Ghattas is suspected of giving phones to imprisoned senior terrorists of the Hamas and Fatah terror organizations and of taking written messages to them. The phones would be used to coordinate terror activities from within the prison.

He was arrested Thursday afternoon on charges of conspiracy to commit a crime, fraud, breach of trust and violation of Israel Prisons Service orders. In custody until Monday, his remand will likely be extended.

Ghattas forfeited his parliamentary immunity, but technically still has a right to vote in the Knesset. However, the Knesset’s legal adviser submitted to Knesset speaker Yoel Edelstein an opinion which states that Ghattas cannot participate in parliamentary plenum or committee votes. An MK who is in detention, including house arrest or an alternate arrangement, cannot vote, even if he cannot be replaced, the adviser said.

Speaking to IDF Radio on Monday, Ghattas’ lawyer Namir Aldaby said that his client has no intention of revealing to the police the name of the individual who gave him the phones and messages for the incarcerated terrorists.

“I suppose they have his identity and will arrest him, will question and verify [my client’s] version of the events. He [Ghattas] does not need to work as a police snitch,” Aldaby said.

By: World Israel News Staff