MK to be indicted over phones to terrorists affair, subject to final hearing

In December, 12 cellphones and 16 SIM cards were allegedly found to have been smuggled to security prisoners in the Ketziot prison by Ghattas.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
January 5, 2017 09:40
1 minute read.

Basel Ghattas in court after being arrested for allegedly smuggling phones to prisoners, Dec. 23, 2016

Basel Ghattas in court after being arrested for allegedly smuggling phones to prisoners, Dec. 23, 2016

Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit summoned MK Basel Ghattas (Joint List) on Thursday to a pre-indictment hearing, and notified the MK that absent exceptional circumstances in which he can convince Mandelblit to back down, he will file an amendment in the phones to terrorists affair.

In December, 12 cellphones and 16 SIM cards were found to have been allegedly smuggled to security prisoners in the Ketziot prison by Ghattas.

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Mandelblit's move was confirmed in a letter to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, and the Speaker of the House Committee, Yoav Kish.

The Beersheba District Attorney’s Office has already charged Asad Daka, brother of one of the prisoners - convicted terrorist murderer Walid Daka - with illegal actions. Walid is serving a 37-year term for murdering IDF soldier Moshe Tamam in 1984.

Daka is suspected of acting as Ghattas' handler.

According to the indictment against Daka, on December 18 he met with Ghattas to give him the equipment. The meeting took place at a Dor Alon gas station on the north side of Route 6.

Daka gave Ghattas the equipment with instructions to smuggle them into his brother and security prisoner Basil Bizra, knowing that the purpose of smuggling the equipment was to endanger people's lives and national security.

Ghattas met with Daka and gave him various documents to smuggle within the prison. He then met with Bizra and gave him the cellphones and SIM cards to smuggle.

Both Daka and Bizra were caught by police by a standard search of their persons after meeting with Ghattas, searches which also led to the pending allegations against Ghattas.

Bizra is serving a 15-year sentence for terror-related activities. 

The case has ratcheted up tension between the Balad political party and authorities over whether Ghattas perpetrated a serious security offense or is being hunted by law enforcement as part of a crack-down on loud politicians among the country's Israeli-Arab minority.





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