MK Ghattas: 'I go out with my head raised high'
Shortly before being questioned for four hours in Lod, the MK suspected of smuggling cellphones and notes to Palestinian prisoners protested innocence as he claimed to be the victim of a political witch hunt; 'Everything is ok. We are used to investigations of these sorts.'
Shortly before entering into the building where he was questioned, Ghattas denied any wrongdoing, instead accusing the establishment of targeting him.
“I go out with my head raised high...This is all a political witch hunt,” Ghattas protested. “Everything is alright. We have gotten used to investigations of these sorts. It is all intended to harm our struggle. The moment I leave the investigation, I will explain things clearly.”
The investigation began at 10:30am and continued for four hours. According to a police statement, “The Israel-Anti Fraud Unit questioned MK Ghattas under caution today on suspicion of conspiracy to committing a crime, fraud, breach of trust and offenses under the Prison Service Ordinance (entering illegal/forbidden objects). According to the suspicion, the MK brought phones and sim cards to security prisoners in contravention of the law.”
Ghattas cooperated fully with those questioning him, answering all questions put forth. He insisted that he had committed no crimes connected with state security or its civilians as is currently being claimed. He also added that he never had any intention of ever doing so.
“The visits to the prisoners are part of the a humanitarian and moral work that I am committed. The issue of prisoners is painful and unbearable. The prisoners suffer in hard conditions and taking care of this issue is part of my public and parliamentary post and I take care of it responsibly,” Ghattas said.
“I have nothing to hide. We enter and leave the investigation with a head held high.”
During a search that was conducted after meetings took place between Ghattas and Palestinian security prisoners, 12 telephones were found in the possession of Walid Daka—one of the terrorists responsible for the kidnapping and murder of IDF soldier Moshe Tamam in 1984—and Basel Bazra along with small letters containing encrypted messages which aroused suspicion that Ghattas had smuggled the phones to the prisoners.
As part of his job, Ghattas was permitted to visit Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. According to intelligence information accumulated by the prison service, Ghattas exploited his role and the fact that his status as an MK meant that he was not required to undergo checks or searches when visiting Daka and Bazra.
Following the search of the prisoners’ cells however, the MK was stopped and confronted by police outside Ktzi'ot Prison.