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Israeli Arab lawmaker Ghatas resigns from Knesset

Sunday, March 19, 2017 3:10
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DEBKAfile was founded by a team of journalists in June 2000 as an independent Internet Web site, providing an intelligence and security news service. March 19, 2017, 11:55 AM (IDT)

Bassal Ghatas, a lawmaker from the United Arab List party who was indicted for smuggling banned cell phones to Palestinian prisoners convicted of security offenses, submitted his resignation to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein on Sunday. He had been filmed while handing over 12 phones to the inmates at Israel’s Ketziot prison. Ghatas was arrested, questioned and barred from all Knesset committees as well as all plenary sessions after being stripped of his parliamentary immunity in January. Ghattas signed a plea bargain agreement under which he will serve two years in prison for smuggling the phones to terrorists at the prison.    

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