Former MK Basel Ghattas with family following release

Israel releases former Israeli-Arab MK who smuggled phones to terrorist

Basel Ghattas leaves prison after serving a two-year-sentence for smuggling electronic, communication devices to security prisoner Walid Daka in Ktzi'ot Prison back in 2016

An Israeli-Arab politician who was convicted for smuggling cell phones to a security prisoner two years ago, was released from jail Monday morning.



Former MK Basel Ghattas (Joint Arab List) was arrested back in 2016 after being smuggling communication devices to a convicted terrorist Walid Daka in Ktzi'ot Prison.


Ghattas at home following his release
Ghattas at home following his release


Ghattas subsequently confessed to breach of trust, providing means to carry out acts of terrorism, smuggling electronic devices into prisons and transferring encrypted messages between security prisoners. He was officially convicted in March 2017.


The former MK received a two year sentence by the Be'er Sheva Magistrate's Court in April 2017 following the approval of a plea bargain in which he showed no remorse for his actions, instead justifying them on humanitarian grounds.


In addition, he was fined NIS 120,000 and given a probationary period of 18 months once he is released from prison.


Basel Ghattas arriving in court  (Photo: Yehuda Perez)
Basel Ghattas arriving in court (Photo: Yehuda Perez)


Ghattas began his sentence on July 2, 2017 when he entered the Gilboa Prison amid a media frenzy. “I am entering prison with my head held high,” he said - in both in Arabic and Hebrew - to a crowd of journalists before entering the prison. “I will leave prison in two years upright … I will continue to protect the rights of prisoners and bring their cases to the public agenda."


The 63-year-old then moved around between several prisons before eventually settling in Megiddo Prison, from where he was released.


In November 2018, Ghattas submitted a request for early release. The parole board denied his request, claiming the former politician’s offences were extremely serious and intended to harm the security of Israel and its citizens. 


The board also claimed Ghattas was not involved in a rehabilitation process while in prison, and did not express any verbal remorse over his actions.



פרסום ראשון: 05.27.19, 09:09
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