Israel sentences Palestinian lawyer to 7 years in prison

An Arab-Israeli lawyer has been sentenced to seven and a half years in jail for allegedly serving as a messenger between Hamas and Palestinians prisoners, an Israeli court in Haifa ruled yesterday.

Mohammed Abed, from the city of Bi’ina in the north of Israel, was accused of relaying messages from Hamas leaders to the group’s prisoners in Israeli jails.

Abed, whose clients included security prisoners, was also convicted of being in touch with five “foreign agents”, with the aim of helping Hamas and, eventually, harming Israel’s security.

The Haifa District Court Judge, Avraham Elyakim, stated that the information passed by the lawyer was “a ticking time bomb”.

In addition to his prison term, the court gave Abed a choice between one year’s suspended sentence, a 50,000 shekel ($13,700) fine to be paid by 1 May 2018, or an additional five months behind bars, according to The Times of Israel.

Responding to the charges made by the court, Abed told reporters he had been practicing his work “legally”. He described the verdict as an “injustice”, noting that he would appeal to the Supreme Court.

Abed was arrested by the occupation authorities on 25 February 2014, after the Israeli forces raided his home in Bi’ina. He was released on 21 May 2014 and was placed under home arrest.

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