Arab Israeli MK Basel Ghattas said on Sunday that he resigned from the Israeli Knesset "without any regrets." He noted that his parliamentary work was just one area of his political work during the recent years.
Ghattas faces a two-year prison sentence after being accused of exploiting his position to smuggle cell phones to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Under a plea deal, Ghattas agreed to resign from the Knesset and serve a prison sentence in return for avoiding more serious charges of "aiding the enemy and being an accomplice to terror."
On his Facebook page, Ghattas wrote: "The resignation came after an agreement between my defence team and the public prosecution."
I have filed my resignation to the Knesset speaker after four years of representing the Palestinian people. I did my best to help them.
He vowed to return to the Knesset after the end of his sentence. Ghattas hoped that the "price" he has paid will increase local and international concern for the treatment of Palestinian prisoners and the torture they are subjeted to inside Israeli jails.
A senior Arab Israeli official stressed that Palestinian prisoners undergo "inhumane" treatment inside Israeli jails, especially the prisoners under administrative detention.
In response to the indictment, Ghattas took full responsibility saying: "This was a humanitarian and moral duty that I am responsible for."