(May 27, 2019 / JNS) Former Israeli Knesset member Basel Ghattas, who was arrested in 2016 for smuggling cellular phones to convicted terrorist Walid Daka in Israel’s Ktzi’ot Prison and transferring encrypted messages between terrorist convicts, was released from jail on Monday after serving his two-year sentence.
Daka was convicted by a military tribunal of membership in the terrorist group that kidnapped and executed Israeli soldier Moshe Tamam in 1986.
Ghattas was convicted in March 2017 on several counts, including breach of trust and providing the means to carry out terrorist acts, and received a two-year sentence from the Beersheva Magistrate Court in April 2017 as part of a plea bargain.
Ghattas entered Gilboa Prison in July 2017, telling a throng of journalists that he was “entering prison with my head held high.”
“I will continue to protect the rights of prisoners and bring their cases to the public agenda,” he said.
Ghattas justified the smuggling of cell phones to prisoners as “humanitarian,” though didn’t elaborate on how the illegal phones would serve such purposes.
He was also fined NIS 120,000 and given 18 months of probation.
According to reports, a party will be held for Ghattas, who is a Christian, in a Greek Orthodox church in Ramallah.