Jailed ex-Arab Knesset member denied early parole; refuses to deny ties to terror group

(TPS) — Former Knesset Member (MK) Basel Ghattas, an Israeli-Arab lawmaker of the Joint Arab List, who is serving a two-year prison term after pleading guilty to charges that he had used his parliamentary immunity to help imprisoned terrorists, was denied early parole.

MK Basel Ghattas. (Photo by Hillel Maeir/TPS)

Ghattas was convicted in March 2017 of smuggling mobile phones to imprisoned senior Hamas and Fatah terrorists incarcerated at Ketziot Prison and of taking written messages to them.

The phones were meant to be used to coordinate terror activities from within the prison.

Ghattas will remain in prison after he has withdrawn his request for early release because he refused the Israel Prison Service’s (IPS) request to remove his membership in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group.

He further refused to express remorse for his actions, a common procedure when seeking early release from prison.

He is set to be released in July.

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