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Israeli Arab Knesset Member Suspended For Allegedly Smuggling Phones to Security Prisoners

i24News reports: Israel’s parliamentary ethics committee on Monday suspended Arab-Israeli lawmaker Bassel Ghattas (pictured) from participating in all Knesset activities, except for voting on bills in the plenum, following accusations he smuggled mobile phones, SIM cards, and documents to Palestinian security prisoners.

The committee voted 3-1 to eject Ghattas, a member of the Arab Joint List party, from plenary sessions and debates until July. Ghattas will retain his right to vote on legislation in the Knesset’s plenary, however, so long as he remains lawmaker.

He will also continue to be paid a government salary after fellow Joint List MK Youssef Jabareen voted against Ghattas’ suspension, saying the committee should wait until the end of the investigation before handng down punishment. Lawmakers’ pay may only be docked by unanimous vote.

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