Police say they have evidence backing the claim that an Arab-Israeli lawmaker was aiding terrorists, but the accused continues to deny the charges.
Arab-Israeli Member of Knesset Basel Ghattas, under questioning, reportedly admitted that he had smuggled telephones and messages to prisoners with blood on their hands.
Channel 2 reported that Ghattas conceded doing to after being shown video footage supporting the accusation.
However, according to Times of Israel, the lawmaker later denied his confession, with a statement from his office stating that he “did not admit in his questioning that he passed cellphones [to the prisoners], as the [Channel 2] report claimed.”
Rather, he “answered all the investigators’ questions and emphasized that he did not commit any violation of national security.”
Police maintain that they have concrete evidence to prove Ghattas was aiding the terrorist prisoners, but that the investigation cannot continue unless the attorney general requests the lifting of his parliamentary immunity, the Times added.
Ghattas, who was condemned last February, along with some of his colleagues in the Arab Balad party, for paying a condolence visit to families of terrorists who murdered and maimed Israelis, in an earlier statement said that his “visits with the prisoners is part of my humanitarian and moral activism.”
‘Ghattas is a Real Danger’
“Ghattas’s foot should not step into the Knesset. He could smuggle in arms, which would lead to an attack on publicly elected representatives,” Avi Dichter, head of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, stated, according to Israel National News.
“Ghattas is a real danger,” Dichter continued. “As a member of the Knesset, he benefits from immunity when he visits terrorists in jail and when he enters the Knesset without a security check. A cellphone is not just a medium for communication, but also a terrorist weapon used to activate terrorists who are located outside.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier this week that if the allegations are confirmed, a grave offense was committed against the state’s security and the citizens of Israel. “Anyone who harms the state’s security must be punished severely and must be banned from serving in Israel’s Knesset,” he stated.
Minister Ze’ev Elkin is working to use the recently passed Impeachment Bill for the first time on Ghattas, enabling the expulsion of lawmakers working to undermine Israel’s democracy or incite against the country.
By: Terri Nir, United with Israel
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