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Arab MK to be Indicted in Connection with Trip to Syria

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has decided to indict Arab MK Sa’id Naffaa in connection with his trip to Syria in October 2007.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 12/13/2009, 4:30 PM / Last Update: 12/13/2009, 4:35 PM

Knesset photo

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has decided to indict Arab-party Knesset Member Sa’id Naffaa in connection with his trip to Syria in October 2007.

Naffaa will be indicted in the Nazareth District Court on charges of illegal exit to visit an enemy state, rendering assistance for illegal exit to visit an enemy state, and contact with a foreign agent.

Naffaa, a member of the Druze community, is being charged with leaving to visit Syria in October 2007, for the purpose of meeting with Talal Naj’I, the deputy secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and

Khaled Mashal, political bureau chief of the Hamas terrorist organization, who lives in Damascus.

He allegedly also met with Syrian Vice President Farouk a-Shara as well as another Syrian government official.

Assistant Attorney General Raz Nisri notified Naffaa’s attorney in writing that despite the arguments raised at the hearing before the Attorney General, Mazuz had decided to submit an indictment.  

Naffaa is being indicted due to the fact that he organized a trip for 280 religious Druze to Syria, traveling through Jordan, despite a specific prohibition by the Interior Ministry against doing so. Naffaa had requested permission to take the group to an enemy state and was denied government permission by then-Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit. 

The Arab MK was aided in arranging the trip with the Syrian embassy while in Jordan, according to the indictment, by former Balad MK Azmi Bishara, who acted as middleman. Bishara fled Israel in 2006 to avoid facing charges of espionage, and aiding and abetting the enemy – Hizbullah terrorists – during the Second Lebanon War.