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January 17, 2017 / 19 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘MK’

Mazel Tov MK Oren Hazan [video]

Friday, January 6th, 2017

Mazel Tov to MK Oren Hazan (Likud) who proposed to his girlfriend Rinat on Thursday on the stage in the theater of the Modi’in Cultural Center…

…She said yes.

Hazan is the “bad boy” of the Knesset, who knows how to put on a show.

He’s incredibly Zionistic and hard working. You can’t walk into a Knesset committee meeting or conference without finding him there participating, contributing and voicing his opinions.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Israeli Arab Balad MK Basel Ghattas Barred from Voting in Knesset

Monday, December 26th, 2016

Israeli Arab Balad Party Knesset Member Basel Ghattas has been banned from voting in the Israeli parliament, according to a report posted by Ynet on Sunday evening.

The move comes in the wake of the Arab Joint List faction member’s arrest on charges of passing coded messages, SIM cards and miniature cell phones to jailed Arab terrorists incarcerated at Israeli prisons.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein on Sunday ordered the parliament’s chief of security, Yosef Griff, to allow Israel Police to enter the lawmaker’s office in order to carry out a search of the premises.

Griff and Knesset Legal Adviser Eyal Yinon served as witnesses to the search in order to ensure that only relevant items were examined and/or confiscated by police. Anything in dispute was placed in a sealed envelope and left to the Court to decide.

Ghattas is the second Knesset Member – also the second Israeli Arab Knesset Member – and a cousin to espionage suspect and former MK Balad party founder Azmi Bishara – whose office underwent similar scrutiny in 2007 while he was under investigation for treason.

Bishara fled Israel before he could be charged for passing information to the Hezbollah terrorist organization, identifying targets within Israel for the terrorist group during the Second Lebanon War, among other actions. He officially resigned from his post at the Israeli embassy in Cairo.

Hana Levi Julian

MK Basel Ghattas Arrested For Aiding Hamas Prisoners in Israeli Jail

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

MK Basel Ghattas was arrested Thursday night after questioning in connection with allegations he passed cell phones, SIM cards and coded messages to Arab terrorist prisoners incarcerated in an Israeli prison, according to the Hebrew-language 0404 news site. According to the report, Ghattas passed information and communications equipment to Hamas prisoners in the jail.

The Israel Police Lahav 433 serious crimes unit questioned the Balad party Knesset member for a second time Thursday in connection with the accusation. He was placed under arrest following that interrogation.

Police told 0404 they believe the evidence is sufficient to charge Ghattas with assisting the enemy and endangering national security, in addition to the current charges of conspiracy, fraud, breach of trust and offenses under the Israel Prisons Service Ordinances (bringing in prohibited/dangerous items.)

The Balad party lawmaker is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday morning at 8 am before the judge in the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court.

Earlier in the day, Ghattas was officially stripped of his diplomatic immunity from the Israeli parliament, which up to that point had protected him from search and arrest during investigations.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein announced Ghattas had agreed to relinquish his immunity after being confronted with evidence proving he had sneaked in the cell phones to prisoners.

Ghattas was shown video footage that revealed him handing papers to an inmate who is serving a 37-year sentence for murder. The footage also shows him handing envelopes to a second inmate, which when later confiscated by prison guards and opened, were found to contain cell phones and SIM cards.

Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit wrote in his request to the Knesset asking to strip Ghattas of his immunity, that Ghattas had denied passing anything to the prisoner.

However, “after MK Ghattas passed envelopes to a security prisoner in jail, and after the security prisoner attempted to conceal the envelopes on his person, the envelopes were confiscated by the prison service, whereupon 12 cell phones and 16 SIM cards, two cell phone batteries, and headphones were found.”

Moreover, it was only after he was shown the video that he admitted having passed the envelopes. Ghattas continued to insists he didn’t know what was in them, and according to Ynet, he said he believed he was giving the prisoner “literature.”

Hana Levi Julian

Arab MK Gives Up Immunity as Police Reveal How He Got Caught

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

MK Basel Ghattas (Joint Arab List) on Wednesday sent the Knesset Committee a letter announcing he was giving up his lawmaker’s immunity from searches and prosecution. The Nazareth born, Christian Ghattas acted following a unanimous vote by the committee to recommend that the House remove his immunity, possibly as early as Thursday. Ghattas is suspected of passing contraband cellular phones and information to security prisoners.

At this point, MK Ghattas is probably aware that police have the goods on him: during his initial interrogation, he was shown video documenting clearly how he passed the phones and the documents to Arab terrorists behind bars. According to unofficial police reports, Ghattas was stunned, and was unable to come up with a consistent explanation to his actions onscreen.

Sources close to Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan revealed to Israel’s Channel 2 News how Ghattas was caught red-handed. In recent months, according to those sources, Arab MK were not allowed to visit security prisoners. The sole exception was MK Ghattas, who continued to receive permits for those visits. Apparently, police and the prisons authority had been informed about his pattern of violations, and so they signaled the minister to lend the MK a long rope for his own hanging. The rest was just a matter of security cameras doing their job.

Ghattas had originally request an opportunity to face the Knesset committee, and planned to accuse it of conducting a political witch hunt. His letter to Committee Chair MK Yoav Kisch (Likud) stated, “This is an unreasonable process by which a hearing is set before reception of the request and without a proper opportunity and reasonable time to study it. […] from the start of this episode police and law enforcement authorities have been stepping on my rights and preventing me from having my dignified due process. The debate you will be conducting today is nothing more than political, with a predictable outcome.”

Ghattas’ cousin, disgraced former MK Azmi Bishara, in 2006 was the subject of an Israeli criminal investigation, for money laundering, contact with a foreign agent, delivery of information to the enemy and aiding the enemy in wartime. After Bishara had been stripped of his parliamentary immunity, he fled Israel and has not returned since.

David Israel

UPDATE: Knesset Committee Votes to Remove MK Ghattas’ Immunity

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

UPDATE:The Knesset Committee on Wednesday voted unanimously to recommend to the plenum to remove MK Basel Ghattas’ immunity. The committee may hold another session at 4 PM local time to allow for a second vote.

Following the confession of MK Basel Ghattas (Joint Arab List), who told police interrogators that he had smuggled cellular equipment as well as various documents to security prisoners at Ketziot Prison, AG Avichai Mandelblit approached Knesset Speaker uli Edelstein (Likud) with a request to remove the lawmaker’s immunity from prosecution. The change in Ghattas’ legal status would make it easier for law enforcement agencies to carry out their investigation.

The AG wrote the Speaker that his request is based on concrete suspicions on the part of police that MK Ghattas “handed the security prisoners at Ketziot, without permission, cellular phones and accompanying equipment, as well as documents, thus committing criminal offenses.”

Mandelblit assured Edelstein that the evidence against Ghattas “justifies the removal of his immunity,” and called it “urgent.” The AG noted that the MK’s immunity prevents investigators from searching his person, home, and belongings, as well as arresting him. Israel’s Channel 2 News noted that this likely means police will arrest the suspected MK as soon as his immunity is revoked.

The Knesset Committee, chaired by MK Yoav Kisch (Likud) is planning to debate the issue and vote on revoking Ghattas’ immunity in advance of his arrest and search. “I will conduct a debate on the topic and not an explosive contention,” Kisch told Channel 2 News. “The implications are serious and we will treat them accordingly.”

The committee debate will take place following a request from the AG.

MK Ilan Gilon (Meretz) called on Ghattas to give up his immunity before it is revoked. “The crimes of which Ghattas is blamed are serious, and if he believes otherwise, he can prove it without his immunity as an MK.” Gilon made the point that revoking an MK’s immunity by the Knesset to facilitate a criminal investigation is different from a new bill, dubbed the Impeachment Law, to which the Meretz MK objects.

MK Ghattas will be allowed by law to appear at the Knesset Committee and argue his case, following which the committee would vote on whether or not it recommends a vote at the plenum on removing his immunity. Once the Knesset votes to remove, Ghattas will remain a full member of the House, except he could be searched, arrested, arraigned and indicted.


Police Summon Arab MK Ghattas on Suspicion of Security Violations

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

Israel Police will summon Joint Arab List MK Basel Ghattas for an interrogation on suspicion of security violations, based on information received by the special investigations unit Lahav 433, from the Prisons Authority, Haaretz reported Sunday evening. Apparently, MK Ghattas maintained ties with one or more security prisoners, which raised suspicions that he, too, was involved in state security violations.

According to the current report, there is no connection between this and the recent investigation into the Arab Balad party. However, investigators plan to check a possible connection between monies transferred to security prisoners by Balad and the lawmaker’s talks with security prisoners.

The Balad party on Sunday morning revealed that party politburo member Nibin Abu Rahmoun has also been interrogated by police.

Ghattas announced he would negotiate a time for his police interrogation, calling the police behavior “vengeful” and declaring he wasn’t afraid of such moved in the past and won’t be in the future.

The Ghattas interrogation follows the interrogation of his two colleague MKs in the Balad segment of the Joint Arab List, Jamal Zahalka and Hanin Zoabi. The interrogations of this highest echelon of Arab politicians come in the wake of sweeping arrests of Balad rank and file members, including former Balad Gen. Sec. and current President Awad Abdel Fattah and senior civil servants and attorneys.

The widespread investigation began a few months ago and deals with financial irregularities and suspicion of money laundering and document forgery during two campaigns in 2013 – one for the Knesset, the other for local municipalities.

Former Balad MK Azmi Bishara in April 2007 resigned from the Knesset through the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, following Israeli police investigation into his foreign contacts, and accusations of allegedly aiding the enemy in wartime, passing information to the enemy and having contacts with a foreign agent, as well as laundering money received from foreign sources. Bishara denied the allegations, and said he was staying abroad because he believes he wouldn’t receive a fair trial.


MK Oren Hazan Rapped for Speeding on Highway to Eilat

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

Likud MK Oren Hazan was caught speeding down the Arava highway towards the Red Sea resort city of Eilat on Friday night. The posted speed limit on that road is 90 kilometers per hour, about 56 miles per hour.

Authorities say Hazan was in his own private vehicle when he was clocked while driving at 150 kph (93 mph).

According to Israel’s Channel 2 TV news, a hearing is to take place within 72 hours to determine whether to suspend the MK’s license for the violation.

“The highway is excellent,” Hazan commented in an unofficial response, “thanks to the government that expanded the roads. All the rest is a misunderstanding. We’re all human.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mk-oren-hazan-rapped-for-speeding-on-highway-to-eilat/2016/12/10/

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