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Ghattas resigns from the Knesset
Former MK Basel Ghattas resigns as part of his plea agreement with prosecutors after admitting to smuggling mobile phones and SIM cards to Palestinian prisoners.
MK Basel Ghattas (Joint List) submitted his resignation Sunday to the Speaker of the Knesset, Yuli Edelstein, as part of his plea bargain with prosecutors for smuggling cell phones to Palestinian security prisoners.

 

 

The meeting between Ghattas and Edelstein was cordial, yet without a handshake. Following the exchange, Edelstein said, "It is a shame he didn't resign two months ago."

 

Former MK Ghattas (Photo: Yariv Katz) (Photo: Yariv Katz)
Former MK Ghattas (Photo: Yariv Katz)

 

Ghattas' resignation will take effect after 48 hours when he will be officially replaced by MK Jamaa Azbarga (Balad).

 

"From the first day of this whole affair I felt that everything I did was a personal act that had nothing to do with anyone else or with the party," said Ghattas at a press conference Friday. "I am a political, social and public activist for my people and my homeland, which is under occupation. This case forced me to act in a hostile atmosphere, complete with lies and leaks.

 

"The judge did not give in to this atmosphere and after studying the matter, decided that there were no security crimes committed. I decided to take the deal of two years. The price I am paying is not in vain and the torture of our prisoners will get attention."

 

Copy of Ghattas' resignation notice
Copy of Ghattas' resignation notice

 

Ghattas further added that he has been subject of "a racist propaganda campaign, which includes an attempt by the police to create an atmosphere that I committed serious security offenses. The media assisted in this attempted lynch and kangaroo court."

 

Ghattas was filmed smuggling mobile phones and SIM cards to Palestinian security prisoners in Ktzi'ot Prison. He was indicted in January for smuggling documents and communication devices into a prison, using property for terrorist purposes, aggravated fraud and committing breach of trust by a public official.

(Translated and edited by Fred Goldberg)

 

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