An Israeli source reported that the State Prosecution has agreed to drop central charges against two Arab residents of Israel, suspected of “supporting terrorism” and ties with Hamas, after striking a plea bargain with them.
Under the plea bargain, Nathmi Hussein, from Nazareth and Abul-Salam Zeidan from Kafr Manda, both dentists, will plead guilty to charges of contacting an enemy agent, and in return the state prosecution will drop the more serious charges against them, which include supporting “a terrorist organization”.
The two residents will be sentenced to 42 month imprisonment; the period will include the time they spent in detention.
The indictment states that the two residents contacted Hamas activists while they were studying in Romania in the 1990s. They remained in contact with activists of Hamas in Ramallah until 2003.
According to the indictment, Hamas asked the two to assist in recruiting other Israeli Arabs to the organization, in order to help with purchasing a fertilizer to be used in manufacturing explosives, to transfer money from abroad and to locate crowded places as targets for attacks, Israeli online daily Haaretz reported.
The indictment also reads that the two traveled to Turkey and Saudi Arabia, apparently for training.
The lawyer of Hussein, Yousef Ammar, said that the deal was struck after a series of talks with the prosecution; evidence was presented during the talks, and widely dispelled the serious charges against the two, leaving only one charge.
“The prosecution initially attempted to separate the charges against the two residents”, Ammar said, “It requested a 4 to 8 year imprisonment”.
Ammar added that the police and prosecution in Israel arrive with serious charges, and request high terms, but these charges are usually baseless, and lack evidence to support them.
Recently, Israel dropped several charges of “supporting terrorism” in several high profile cases, including the case of Tali Fahima, the pro-Palestinian Jewish activist.
Fahima was originally accused of translating and reading sensitive military materials to fighter of Al Aqsa Brigades, the military wing of Fateh. The material was lost while the army was operating in the West Bank city of Jenin in May 2004.
In a plea bargain reached last month, the state dropped several charges against Fahima, including the most serious charge against her, aiding an enemy in time of war.