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Hamas called on former MK Azmi Bishara to return to Israel and share the burden of supporting the Palestinian homeland alongside his compatriots - even if he is imprisoned for it, Israel Radio reported on Friday.
The former Balad chairman, who quit the Knesset last month via the Israeli Embassy in Egypt, has been accused of spying on behalf of Hizbullah during the Second Lebanon War by providing the guerrilla group with targets for their rockets, as well as classified military information.
The group said in a statement that Bishara must be like the leader of the Islamic Movement's northern branch, Raed Salah, who did not abandon his homeland, but stood erect and went to jail.
Salah was arrested earlier this year for clashing with police over the Mughrabi dig near the Temple Mount.
Hamas also called on Bishara not to submit to so-called Zionist plans to deport all Israeli Arabs and set up a state exclusively for Jews, the report said.
Bishara has vehemently denied the charges against him, claiming that Israel is trying to turn his contacts with officials in the Arab world into a case of treason.
Bishara has not yet returned to Israel, as doing so would result in his being jailed.