Ex-Arab Israeli lawmaker sentenced in Israel

JERUSALEM (AP) " A former Arab Israeli lawmaker has been sentenced to two years in prison after admitting to smuggling cellphones to Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

An Israeli court on Sunday accepted a plea bargain between Basel Ghattas and prosecutors. Under the deal, Ghattas admitted to slipping the phones and SIM cards to Palestinian inmates during a prison visit. As part of the deal, Ghattas, a member of the Joint List of Arab parties, agreed to resign from parliament last month.

Ghattas is to report to prison in July. He must serve two years, plus pay a $33,000 fine or serve an additional four months.

Arabs make up about one-fifth of Israel's population. While holding citizenship rights, they often face discrimination and are sometimes viewed with suspicion for identifying with Palestinians.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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